Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East & Africa will open three new properties in the Sultanate of Oman in the coming months, starting with the launch of a global brand first, the 115-key Millennium Executive Apartments property in Muscat, in quarter one of 2015.
Two further Millennium hotels will be added to the group portfolio in 2015 in the Omani capital, Grand Millennium Hotel Muscat and Copthorne Hotel Muscat.
“This represents a double first for Millennium - our first footstep into Muscat and the global debut for our Millennium Executive Apartments brand, which is a new concept from the company designed to specifically address the growing demand for serviced apartments in the region,” said Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, president, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels MEA.
“It’s also a first for Muscat’s rapidly developing hospitality sector, with both the Millennium Executive Apartments and Grand Millennium Muscat Hotel directly connected to the new Grand Mall Muscat.
“This is something unique to Oman’s tourism offering and is sure to be a major selling point for both hotels with the promise of ‘exclusive access’ to the city’s newest retail and entertainment hub,” he added.
According to Price Waterhouse Coopers’ May 2014 Middle East hotel forecast, Muscat hoteliers witnessed the highest growth in revenue per available room in 2014 among the GCC countries at 6.6 per cent, beating both Dubai and Doha, with PwC forecasting positive RevPAR outlook into 2015.
“Government and private sector investment is driving tourism industry growth opportunities in the Sultanate with the US$6.1 billion development of enhanced airport facilities, a new convention centre, and a healthy hotel pipeline.
“We believe that the country is poised to make its mark on the regional tourism map and Millennium has a full complement of brands to capture every market segment,” noted Alzaabi.
Under the government’s Vision 2020 plan, Oman is preparing to welcome 12 million visitors annually by 2020, which is a substantial increase on its 2.2 million visitors in 2013, and increase total room count to 20,000 units by the end of the decade.
According to Alzaabi, the Millennium Executive Apartments model is also an attractive option for hotel investors looking to secure higher financial returns from a lower cost structure, and incorporating efficient and practical design.
Features of the Muscat property include an all-day dining restaurant, casual café, and access to a swimming pool and health club, to complement the one to three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 70 to 135 square metres.
The Grand Millennium, Muscat Hotel is a Sharia-compliant property offering 328 rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, specialty restaurant, tea lounge, full-size indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a luxury health club with fitness centre, tennis courts and extensive meeting facilities including a 1,250-square metre ballroom, seven meeting rooms, majlis and VIP room.
The hotel is connected to the adjacent Muscat Grand Mall via a dedicated sky bridge.
The three new Muscat properties join the 234-room Millennium Resort Mussanah, a popular getaway destination for leisure travellers thanks to its idyllic location on the Al Batinah coast.
Just 45 minutes’ drive to Muscat International Airport and within close proximity of the cities of Barka and Sohar, the resort also offers 74 serviced apartments.
Currently, Millennium and Copthorne operates 17 hotels in the Middle East with approximately 5,000 rooms across the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Iraq.
It aims to operate 50 properties by 2017, including 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia.