Rotana is set to open nine new hotels in the UAE over the next five years, four properties in the capital Abu Dhabi and another five in Dubai.
Company COO Guy Hutchinson revealed the new properties include five under the Rotana Hotels & Resorts brand, three under the Arjaan hotel apartments by Rotana brand and one under Rotana’s lifestyle affordable hotel brand, Centro by Rotana.
These hotels will add 3,598 keys to the company’s existing 9,584 room count in the UAE and will take the total number of Rotana properties in the UAE to 44 by 2020.
“The GCC remains the largest source market for Rotana properties in the UAE and elsewhere, and with intra-regional travel on the rise and accounting for a larger share of visitor spend than ever before, now is the perfect time for Rotana to strengthen our relationships with our travel trade partners and share updates on our expansion plans for the region,” Hutchinson said.
With the decline in Ruble having had a major impact on spending by tourists from Russia, and with the Chinese economy slowing down sharply, Hutchinson said that Rotana is looking to increased tourist arrivals from the GCC to help the UAE hospitality industry maintain its growth pace in 2016.
“The shift in the UAE’s feeder market dynamic due to challenging global economic conditions has brought GCC travellers into sharper focus than ever before,” he said.
Noting that 37% of Rotana’s room nights and 40% of Rotana’s room revenue are generated from the GCC region, Hutchinson stated that the company has been seeing an increase of more than 8% year on year.
“We are very optimistic about the outlook for the UAE and GCC tourism sector in 2016. Although the market environment continues to remain challenging, we see many positive trends and developments that could yet propel hospitality growth in the region in the year ahead – such as increased infrastructure spending by GCC governments, continuing rise in intra-regional travel percentage, and the rapid growth of MICE tourism,” he said.