Maturing hotel market in the Middle-East

Author: Bani Haddad

Categories: Budget Hotels, Deal-making, Luxury Hotels, Mid-Market Hotels, Middle East
Tags: development
Bani Haddad: "Middle East has been an amazing market for us.  We’ve grown … in the last five years we’ve grown our portfolio to have now 38 properties, primarily in the Gulf.  And we’ve seen significant growth in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Doha, Qatar.  And we’re still very excited about these markets.  We still see a lot of opportunities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE specifically.  So far we have grown with our Ramada brand which is a midscale product, extremely successful.  And we have recently over the last two years started introducing our new brands, the upscale brand Wyndham and Grand in Doha, we’ve announced two deals, one in Riyadh, one in Bahrain as well, for two other Wyndham Grand hotels.  But we are also very excited because the market is maturing and many of these countries we’re seeing the demand now for the budget and economy sector.  And globally we’re a market leader in the economy and budget sector with iconic brands such as Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson and so we’ve started developing these brands in the Middle East as well. The political stability in the Arab Spring did have an effect on our growth.  And so that’s one.  And then the second one has been the financing.  You know, most of the portfolio – most of our portfolio and the hotel inventory in the Middle East is new built.  So if you don’t have access or if financing is difficult you have a problem in building that pipeline."  
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