Frank Marrenbach, CEO of Oetker Hotels Collection (OHC), has announced that the European luxury hotel chain is eyeing a range of hotels in the Middle East in the coming years and has initiated talks with potential partners in the region.
“The OHC plans up to ten hotels within the next ten years in carefully selected destinations across the Middle East,” Marrenbach said.
“The OHC is focusing on the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey,” he added.
He said OHC has been postponed a distinctive hotel project in Egypt until the political situation there stabilises.
Speaking to journalists in Dubai recently, Marrenbach said OHC will inaugurate the luxury Le Bristol of Abu Dhabi by the middle of 2013.
The National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels has started construction of the hotel in the UAE capital with an investment of $165 million.
Le Bristol Abu Dhabi will have 184 deluxe rooms, besides spacious suites, special physical fitness facilities and a modern concert hall on the sea to accommodate about 300 people.
“Service is the most important characteristic of OHC. We have two staffers per guest in the OHC in Europe, which means each guest will have a person to provide him a toothbrush every morning,” Marrenbach said.
“The secret is not in the number of employees, but in their ability to read the concerns of the guests and meet their expectations,” he said.
Samir Daqqaq, OHC’s senior vice-president (development), Middle East and Africa, said: “We have aggressive growth plans for the Middle East and Africa region, which remains one of the fastest growing tourism markets."
The company's first property in the region - Palais Namaskar - is about to open in Marrakesh, Morocco. This will be followed by Le Bristol Abu Dhabi next year.
It will be complemented by a 200-room property on Saadiyat Island to be managed by OHC for which it has signed an MoU.
In response to an Emirates247.com query on the need for new hotels in UAE, Samir Daqqaq said: “The UAE is saturated with four and five stars hotels, but the country needs more elite hotels characterised by luxury and outstanding service.”