Al Hokair group executive vice president Sami Al-Hokair Al Hokair group executive vice president Sami Al-Hokair

EXCLUSIVE

Saudi Arabia’s Al Hokair Group will convert half of its internationally-managed hotels in the region to its own MENA Hotels and Resorts brand within two years.

The group is looking to expand its hospitality arm MENA Hotels & Resorts by adding more than 3000 rooms to its pipeline, bringing the number of upcoming rooms to 10,000 by 2014, Al Hokair deputy CEO Sami Al-Hokair told Hotelier Middle East.

“Most of the new properties will open in the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon and a large number in Saudi Arabia, which remains our key market,” he added.

Al Hokair Group has 28 existing hotels comprising 3500 rooms in the GCC managed by international operators including Holiday Inn, Golden Tulip, Novotel and Hilton Garden Inn as well as its own brand MENA Hotels and Resorts.

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When asked whether any of these existing owned hotels would be converted into MENA Hotels and Resorts properties, Fadi Mazkour, director of the brand said: “Yes, around 50% within the next two years.

“By around 2013 we should have completed the plan,” he added, saying most of the reflagged properties would be in Saudi Arabia.

“There is a renovation plan of more than SAR 150 million (US $40 million) which will be put into these hotels for rebranding,” he revealed.

In a statement to Hotelier Middle East the group added: “We will continue to work in partnership with hotel brands like Golden Tulip, Novotel and Hilton Garden Inn, but the focus for Al Hokair Group has moved to developing Mena Hotels & Resorts, our hotel management company which was established in 2008.”