Aleph Hospitality has revealed plans to grow its portfolio to 35 properties by 2025 as demand for alternative management models gains momentum.
At the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, held in Ras Al Khaimah in April, third-party hotel management was highlighted as an increasingly attractive alternative model for hotel owners and investors seeking to increase profitability and asset value.
A boom in supply coupled with challenging trading conditions is driving hotel owners to look at new ways to streamline overheads and ensure lean, profitable operations.
The Middle East hotel pipeline currently stands at 740 hotels, according to the latest data from STR, which also reported a decline in key performance metrics across the region for 2018 compared with the previous year.
Following successful growth in Africa, Aleph Hospitality has turned its focus to the Middle East to meet these demands and manage hotels directly for owners, either on a franchise basis for branded properties or as a white label operator for independently-branded hotels.
“Value, bottom line, revenue and profit were the words on every owner’s lips during our conversations with investors at AHIC in Ras Al Khaimah,” said Bani Haddad, founder and managing director of Aleph Hospitality.
“While white-label and third-party hotel management models dominate the market in the US and Europe, until the launch of Aleph Hospitality in 2015, they simply didn’t exist in a professional manner in the Middle East and Africa.
“With owners increasingly looking for alternative ways to maximise the value of their assets during times of increased supply, the opportunity is ripe for our management models to take hold in the region.”
Aleph Hospitality has nine hotels in its portfolio, including Getfam Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Best Western Plus Nairobi Westlands in Nairobi, Kenya, and Four Points by Sheraton Monrovia in Liberia.
Here, Aleph Hospitality secured a major international brand partnership for the owner thanks to its established relations and preferred terms with global hotel companies, in this case, Marriott International.
The company is in numerous discussions with hotel owners in the Middle East to operate both conversions and new builds, as well as with hotel brands seeking to partner with a third-party management company with exceptional regional knowledge and international experience.
Neil George, executive director, Aleph Hospitality, commented: “We have been approached by various hotel owners in the Middle East to explore options that allow them to have an international brand but with more control over the management of their hotels.
“Our management philosophy encourages this, and we see significant opportunity for conversions in markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”