Best Western International, which operates three hotel brands, is set to open its first luxury properties in the Middle East by the end of the year.
The company, which already operates two midscale hotels in Saudi Arabia and one in Qatar, will launch Best Western Premier in Kuwait and Oman.
Both the 96-room Best Western Mahbola in Kuwait and the 212-room Best Western Premier Muscat in Oman are scheduled to open in Q4, 2012.
Best Western International vice president international operations – Asia & the Middle East Glenn de Souza said the company was looking for further opportunities in the region.
“The Middle East is a fast-growing market and Best Western never stops looking for opportunities to expand its portfolio. If we find good partners and strong development opportunities in other countries, we will certainly look to expand our regional portfolio further,” said de Souza.
Construction has started on two Best Western Premier properties in Erbil, Iraq, which were signed in November 2011 with owner Golden Mountains Company.
The 82-room Best Western Premier Erbil Airport will be the first to open in 2013, located near to the recently-opened Erbil International Airport.
This will be followed by the opening of the 160-room Best Western Erbil in the city centre in the first quarter of 2014.
“Iraq was chosen for Best Western’s next step of brand expansion in the Middle East based on various positive aspects of the nation. These include the historical values, the country’s economy, the people and its financial resources, all of which are key elements in the immense potential of Iraq as both a major business centre and tourism destination. And Erbil, as a prominent trading centre with key road links and increasing air access, is a natural choice for our first hotels in Iraq”” said de Souza.
Meanwhile, Best Western is also planning to expand in Saudi Arabia, where it recently opened the Best Western Plus Sand Rose Suite Hotel in Al Khobar and the Best Western Orchid Hotel in Riyadh.
In the next two years, Best Western International expects to open nine new hotels in seven cities across the Kingdom, adding 1,589 rooms to the country’s inventory.
Worldwide, Best Western International operates 4000 hotels in 100 countries.