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Majid Al Futtaim Properties eyes Egypt, Oman and Saudi for hotel growth

Majid Al Futtaim Properties eyes Egypt, Oman and Saudi for hotel growth

The company currently has 12 operational hotels including 10 in Dubai

United Arab Emirates-based Majid Al Futtaim Properties is looking to expand its hotels division within the Middle East this year, according to a senior official.

The company currently has 12 operational hotels including 10 in Dubai and two in Bahrain.

“In terms of regional expansion, we will assess potential opportunities in Egypt, Oman and Saudi Arabia, alongside our mall business,” chief executive officer of Hotels at Majid Al Futtaim Properties Simon Barlow told Gulf Business.

“For example, Majid Al Futtaim has plans to expand its presence in Egypt with Mall of Egypt and City Centre Almaza, as well as in Saudi Arabia with Mall of Saudi and City Centre Ishbiliyah. Each of these sites will be assessed to see if opportunities exist for incorporating a nearby hotel offering,” he explained.

He added: “During 2016, we will also continue to focus on opportunities in Dubai with plans to enhance our hotel portfolio.”

Last year, the company completed a Dhs 368m renovation of Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, a Dhs 21m revamp of the Sheraton Hotel Mall of the Emirates and a Dhs 38m refurbishment of the Le Meridien Hotel City Centre Bahrain.

The final phase of the Kempinski Hotel renovation has been completed this year, with the launch of 20 luxury Aspen Chalets offering views of Ski Dubai.

Read: Pictures: Kempinski Mall of the Emirates opens 20 luxury chalets

“The United Arab Emirates continues to be the region’s strongest market. Tourism will remain a significant driver of the UAE hospitality market, particularly with major global events such as Expo 2020 and World Retail Congress on the horizon,” Barlow said.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing estimates that 70 per cent of the 25 million people who are likely to visit Expo 2020 will come from outside the UAE.

“That’s a 17.5 million person tourism boost. There will be further opportunities for growth, as Abu Dhabi continues to grow its aviation industry and expand its airline and airport capacities,” he explained.

He added: “We also expect to see countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, benefit from national infrastructure programmes and specialised hospitality offerings.”

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