Hotel operator Millennium & Copthorne has said it will open 10 new hotels in the Gulf Cooperation Council region over the next 12 months, expanding its operating portfolio significantly in the region.
The global hotel operator hopes to add over 4,000 rooms to its existing portfolio of 26 hotels in the wider Middle East region.
Focusing specifically on opening new properties in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia, the group said it is on track to having 100 hotels in the region by 2020.
“We are entering a very exciting period in the Group’s evolution that will see us extend our presence across the Gulf region as well as in new markets such as Georgia,” said Millennium & Copthorne MEA president and CEO Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi.
“We believe we are in a strong position to meet the needs of the market by offering global expertise alongside an understanding of the local market. These new openings bring us closer to realising our ambitious vision of having 100 hotels by 2020,” Alzaadi added.
The new projects are also expected to create significant employment opportunities across the region, with plans to hire more than 2,000 hotel employees over the next year.
With the number of overnight guests in Saudi Arabia increasing by 14 per cent so far in 2016, Millennium and Coprthorne aims to open a total number of 20 hotels in the kingdom over the next five years.
The group has already opened two hotels in Saudi Arabia this year and has a number of upcoming projects currently under development. These include the Millennium Hotel Jizan and Millennium Tabouk in the west, M Hotel Makkah, Kingsgate Al Safa Hotel, Kingsgate Al Henawy Hotel, all in Makkah and a further property in Madinah.
Two more hotels are also in their final stages of construction in Oman, expected to be fully open this autumn. These include five-star hotel Grand Millennium Muscat, located near the Muscat Grant Mall and Copthorne Falcon Hotel, also located in Muscat.
In Qatar, the group will be opening its fourth hotel in country’s capital. The Millennium Plaza Doha is set to open in 2017.
The hotel group announced the signing of four hotels in Dubai earlier last year. The properties include three Studio M hotels, the firm’s contemporary budget concept as well as a Millennium hotel and are set to open in Dubai World Central, Dubai Investments Park and Al Barsha.
Scheduled for completion in 2018, Studio M Dubai World Central will offer more than 750 rooms, making it one of the largest budget hotels in the region.
The next project to open this year is the Bab Al Qasr hotel in Abu Dhabi, set for an opening in the third quarter of this year.
This hotel pioneers a new portfolio of signature hotels called “The Biltmore Collection” and features 677 rooms and residences, a private beach, 16 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom.