Best Western has announced a strategic plan to expand into the Persian Gulf Region, with 25 hotels targeted within 2010. The group recently signed its first two properties in The Middle East. The 320-room Best Western Premier Dhow Palace Hotel and the 222-rooms Best Western Premier Creek Hotel. Both hotels are located in Bur Dubai and are scheduled to open in May 2009.In addition, Best Western has sealed deals with two properties in Oman, one in Qatar, one in Kuwait, and is very positive to add three more hotels within the city of Dubai and another two hotels in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2009.
Looking ahead, by the time the economy starts to recover; Best Western will have over 10 projects in GCC countries ready to open. Notably, the Holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia is another targeted destination where the brand plans to have 3 hotels in the next two years. Other strategic cities include Doha, Muscat, Riyadh, Kuwait City and Madinah.
Glenn de Souza, Best Western International’s Vice President International Operations - Asia, said, “Despite the current recession, we see the crisis as an opportunity that fits with our products for the Middle East. With Best Western and Best Western Premier brands, we are able to cater for both mid-scale and upscale markets. The overall strategy of offering high-quality accommodation and services with reasonable price is one that fits well at any time, especially now that everyone is looking for extra value.”
“Construction costs have fallen sharply since the advent of the economic crisis, making it a good time for developers to build hotels that will be ready in two years to attract the upsurge in tourism when the economy strengthens,” the executive added.
With a target to become the region’s largest international hotel chain, Best Western aims to have 200 hotels with 50,000 rooms across Asia and the Middle East by 2010.