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June 12, 2015

Middle East: Mövenpick Multiplies in the Middle East

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Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is preparing to roll out a dramatic expansion programme across the region over the next five years.

The strategy would see the Swiss hotel chain introduce more than 10 new properties to the Middle East, adding to its current portfolio of 30 hotels and resorts in the region. Particular focus will be placed on high-growth markets, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman, where tourism numbers are set to spiral upwards over the coming years.

“Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has spent the last 20 years working closely with our business partners and hotel owners to build a portfolio of strategically located properties across the Middle East,” said Andreas Mattmüller, Chief Operating Officer, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Asia.
“Having established strong brand awareness and a formidable reputation for service and culinary excellence, we are in a good position to further expand our regional footprint,” he added.

Tourism to GCC countries is on track to hit the 64.27 million mark by 2020, according to figures revealed by statistics portal Statista. This compares to nearly 41 million in 2010 and a predicted 53.64 million in 2015.

“Our timing could not be better as the Middle East looks set to embark on an unprecedented growth phase, fuelled by a combination of renewed consumer confidence and increased regional public and private infrastructure investment, in addition to upcoming mega events such as Dubai Expo 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar,” said Mattmüller.

Saudi Arabia has the lion's share of the region's tourism, with more than 21 million visitors predicted for 2015, growing to 27.5 million by 2020, driven by the increasing number of pilgrims visiting the kingdom to perform Hajj or Umrah.

The kingdom is on Mövenpick's pipeline priority list with plans to boost the portfolio there from nine to 13 properties by 2017. Two hotels will open this year, one in Riyadh and the other in Jeddah, while Mövenpick's third property in Al Khobar, the 270-key Mövenpick Residences Al Khobar, will open next year.

This will be followed in 2017 with the opening of the 353-room Mövenpick

Hotel Financial District Riyadh, located in King Abdullah Financial District, the city's vibrant new business hub. Expansion in the UAE is also high on Mövenpick's agenda with plans for two more Dubai properties – the 251-key Mövenpick Hotel Dubai Media City and 246-key Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Downtown Dubai – both of which will open in 2017, taking its portfolio in the emirate from six to eight properties.

“With the number of guests checking into Dubai hotels hitting 11.6 million in 2014 and targeted to reach at least 20 million by 2020, we are also eyeing opportunities to operate properties in the Dubai World Central airport district, close to where the Dubai Expo 2020 will be staged,” said Mattmüller.

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