Each week, HotelNewsNow.com provides a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s roundup focuses on the Middle East/Africa.
Qatar, Abu Dhabi bid for Marriott portfolio
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Qatar Investment Authority are bidders for a portfolio of 42 U.K.-based Marriott hotels, according to arabianbusiness.com. A deal could be worth as much as $1.08 billion.
The sale is being administered by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The hotels were previously owned by Whitbread plc.
A decision by RBS on the winning bidder is expected in the coming weeks.
Qatar fund plans Harrods hotel offering
Qatar Holding, a sovereign wealth fund, intends to build a luxury hotel named after the upscale luxury department Harrods, according to a Reuters report.
The fund reached an agreement with Jerantas Sdn Bhd to build a hotel in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang shopping district.
"The target plan is to open Harrods hotels at sites in key cities such as Kuala Lumpur, New York and Paris as well as in China. Preference will be given to construct on sites already owned by Qatar Holding or its affiliates, for example at Chelsea Barracks in London or Costa Smeralda in Sardinia," the report said. "Qatar Holding ultimately intends to grow Harrods into a global enterprise that defines the luxury retail and leisure sectors."
JLL: Dubai’s economy expanding
Dubai’s economy is expected to grow by 4% to 5% this year, led in part by growth in the city-state’s tourism sector, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle.
Revenue per available room is up 13% during 2012. And as the hotel sector has picked up, so has supply. JLL said approximately 850 hotel rooms opened in Dubai during the first half of 2012. And approximately 4,500 rooms are expected to be completed this year.
View the full report.
Report: Riyadh real-estate to continue growth
Century 21 Saudi’s Research & Advisory has reported that the Riyadh real-estate market is expected to continue to expand in 2012, led by residential and infrastructure improvements.
However, during the first half of 2012, supply in the hospitality sector surpassed demand, which caused a slight dip in occupancy and RevPAR, the report noted.
Nairobi expected to see positive hotel performance
Nairobi’s hotel market will see steady improvement during the next two years, according to an analysis by HVS.
An increase in total international arrivals is benefitting Nairobi hotels, the study found. Arrivals registered a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% between 2006 and 2011. Further, length of stay has increased during the past 10 years, totaling 4.14 nights in 2010 compared to 3.56 in 2000.
As for supply, the Nairobi upscale hotel market is estimated at 5,000 rooms, with more than 750 rooms opened since 2009.
View the full HVS report.
MEA results for May
The Middle East/Africa region reported mostly positive performance results in May 2012 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global, sister company of HotelNewsNow.com.
In May 2012, the region’s occupancy jumped 13.3% to 60.4%, its average daily rate fell 1.6% to $146.32 and its revenue per available room rose 11.5% to $88.39.
Upscale properties in Mecca
An increase in wealth in Islamic countries has led to a demand for more upscale hotels in Mecca, according to a Bloomberg report.
Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide are among the companies looking to invest in Mecca. Hilton, for one, plans to more than double the number of hotels it operates in Saudi Arabia to 14, including six in Mecca.
And IHG will increase its room supply by approximately 50% to 7,300 during the next three to five years.
Abu Dhabi sees supply increase
Approximately 20 hotels are expected to open in and around Abu Dhabi during the next three years, according to a gulfnews.com report.
Among the openings:
- a 195-room Courtyard by Marriott;
- a 244-room Edition hotel;
- a 532-room Ritz-Carlton; and
- a 60-room Marriott Exclusive Apartments.
Deals and development
- Marriott International has opened the 286-room Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter in Saudi Arabia; it is the first Courtyard by Marriott in Saudi Arabia.
- Diamond-producer Anjin is planning to invest $30 million in a 5-star property in Mutare, Zimbabwe, according to allafrica.com. http://allafrica.com/stories/201207090223.html
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has taken over management of Billa Lodge in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park; the property will be upgraded and renamed the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania this fall.
- IHG has signed its first hotel in Algeria, the 243-room Holiday Inn Algiers-Cheraga Tower.
- Hilton has opened two new Egyptian properties: the 390-room Hilton Giza Pyramids and the 195-room Hilton Alexandria King’s Ranch Resort.
Compiled by Shawn A. Turner.