Swiss-Belhotel International will be announcing the addition of three new Middle East properties to its rapidly expanding regional portfolio at the forthcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
First off the development block will be The Beach Bay Hotel by Swiss-Belhotel Muscat; a 32-room boutique property. The property will complete its reflagging programme in June 2012 and will offer two restaurants and meeting facilities.
The next is a deal to develop a new Swiss-Belexpress Muscat, located in the central business district with 95 guestrooms, has also been signed. The property is scheduled to open in Q1 2013. The property will offer a deli-coffee shop and express business centre.
The group has more recently signed landmark resort property – the Swiss-Belresort & Spa Sharma – located in Tabuk region northwest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea. The resort is being developed in phases featuring the main hotel building, 27 fully-fitted apartments, 17 day-use cabins and the All Day Dining restaurant set to open in late 2012, with phase two comprising 24 apartments banqueting and conference centre, spa and leisure facilities to be completed late 2013.
The Saudi resort will target the domestic leisure tourism and will offer a dedicated marina with a comprehensive diving centre incorporated into the resort’s footprint. It will feature a ladies beach club and spa including private BBQ areas, swimming pool and water features. Complementing facilities and services will also include a permanent conference and banqueting marquee, and a mosque on site.
Gavin Faull, president and chairman, Swiss-Belhotel International, says both Oman and Saudi Arabia are key growth markets for the brand: “Our first venture into the Kingdom is a direct response to the Saudi government’s significant investment into nationwide tourist infrastructure and targets new emerging regions for tourism and hospitality. The Group is expanding rapidly on a global scale, with almost 25 new development projects in the Middle East and Asia Pacific and expectations of realising a hotel portfolio of close to 100 hotels by the end of 2012. Based on the success of our existing properties in Kuwait and Qatar, this region is a focal point for the brand moving forward.”
Completing the quartet of announcements, Swiss-Belhotel’s fourth project in the Middle East is a 108-key town centre property in the city Erbil, in northern Iraq.
“We have eyed Iraq for quite some time and this hotel is essential addition to our strategic development plans for the Middle East,” remarked Faull.
Swiss-Belhotel Erbil, which is due to open in 2013, and in close proximity to the central business district as well as major local attractions and retail centres.
“Erbil is a historic city and the up-and-coming capital of Kurdistan, as well as being home to many government agencies as well as a growing number of international companies involved in the country’s regeneration programme, which presents exciting opportunities within the hospitality sector, and for recognised quality-driven international brands such as Swiss-Belhotel,” said Magdi Samman, regional director of operations and development, Swiss-Belhotel Middle East.