Hilton Hotels Corporation anticipates doubling its portfolio in Middle East & Africa over the next five years in line with the company’s strategic focus on development and growth. Currently with 43 properties and 15 new openings scheduled over the next three years in the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Africa and Indian Ocean, the Middle East’s leading hotel brand (ref. Business Development Research Consultants 2007 survey) is targeting a Hilton hotel in every capital city.
Jean-Paul Herzog, President, Hilton Hotels, Middle East & Africa commented at World Travel Market 2007 in London, “The Middle East is a key development market for Hilton Hotels. We have a new organisational structure with Middle East & Africa heaquartered out of Dubai that allows us to continue our focus on operational excellence, whilst realising our development ambitions for the Hilton Family of Brands.
“The UK is the number one international source market for our hotels, with more than 13% of overall room nights originating from the UK - therefore exhibitions such as WTM are of tremendous importance to us to promote and sell our current portfolio, new openings & development strategy to the travel trade.”
Next year (2008), Hilton is scheduled to have five new hotel openings in the U.A.E and Egypt, together with its first hotels in Qatar, Lebanon and Equatorial Guinea.
“It is always exciting to be entering a country for the first time, and at Hilton we have a heritage of firsts; we were the first international hotel chain in the U.A.E over 35 years ago with the Hilton Al Ain, and the first in Egypt nearly 50 years ago with the Nile Hilton in Cairo,” continued Herzog.
Luxor’s first Worldwide Resort is scheduled to open next year (October 2008) in Egypt with the new-look Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa. Following a complete facelift, the 235-room resort set in ‘the world’s greatest open-air museum’, Luxor, will feature the city’s first world-class spa. This follows on from the opening this year of the spectacular Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa in the Northern Emirates (U.A.E), with 151 villa suites right on the beach, and the re-opening of the 400-room Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village on Egypt’s breathtaking Sinai coast, after a multi-million dollar refurbishment.
In the U.A.E, Hilton’s first residential offering, the 44-storey Hilton Jumeirah Beach Residence with 371 rooms and apartments, and the Hilton Beach Club are both scheduled to open in October 2008, next to the existing Worldwide Resort on Dubai’s world-famous Jumeirah coastline. Meanwhile, with Qatar representing the second highest GDP growth after China, Hilton will mark its entry into the country with the 324-room Hilton Doha scheduled to open in October 2008.
The scheduled opening of the Hilton Beirut in June 2008 represents another first for Hilton, this time in Lebanon. With 158 rooms, this prime business property overlooking the capital’s corniche will have a very contemporary look and feel. The 2008 opening pipeline continues with the Hilton Malabo in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa, scheduled to open in 2008 with 211 rooms.
Looking further ahead, the first two Conrad hotels in the Gulf are scheduled to open in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in December 2009. In addition, new Hilton properties in Kuwait, and Amman and Aqaba in Jordan, Ras Al Khaimah (U.A.E), Kampala (Uganda) and Accra (Ghana) are scheduled to open by 2010.
Hilton is moving beyond its current concentration in the upscale and luxury segment, to also develop mid-market and economy properties (Doubletree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton) in the international markets.
Herzog explained, “Consumers should be able to choose between a multitude of brands each offering a different product for a different reason of travel. Consumer choice is key to future growth.”
Hilton Hotels Middle East & Africa is exhibiting at WTM 2007 on the Area’s destination stands, whilst visitors can also experience a spa treatment at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa’s relaxation and tranquility room in Room SG30.