Golden Tulip will manage up to 100 villas within the upcoming Durrat Al Bahrain project. Golden Tulip will manage up to 100 villas within the upcoming Durrat Al Bahrain project.

The Golden Tulip regional management team reveals the group’s strategy behind its aggressive MENA expansion, with a focus on boosting the brand’s reputation and the bottom line

Golden Tulip, part of Europe’s Louvre Hotel Group, has fast-tracked its expansion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the past 23 years through franchise deals, but this strategy is set to change as it embarks on further growth and development of the brand.

The group currently operates 44 hotels comprising 6443 keys in the MENA region (in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon and Tunisia) under its three-star Tulip Inn and four-star Golden Tulip brands. Out of these 44 operating hotels, 29 are franchised properties and the rest managed by Golden Tulip.

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By 2016, Golden Tulip expects to more than double its regional portfolio with 46 signed properties comprising 7678 keys in the pipeline, according to data obtained by Hotelier Middle East.

The majority of properties will be under its Golden Tulip and Tulip Inn brands, and the region’s first five-star Royal Tulip will open in Amman, Jordan, in 2013. The group is eyeing 10 more Royal Tulips in the region over the next four years. Out of the 46 upcoming signed properties, only four are franchised.

“In the last three years I have tightened the valve on franchising and opened the valve on management for a better offering to our customers. My international traveller wants to have integrity of the brand,” Golden Tulip MENA president Amine E. Moukarzel explains.

While franchising hotels has given the operator a faster momentum of growth which it has capitalised on to date, going forward the focus is on three key aspects: fine-tuning the brand offering, quality and consistency of the product; boosting profitability; and enhancing employee welfare and opportunities. All tasks that can be tricky when dealing with third-party-run franchised properties, he says.

Stat attack
- 8th Louvre Hotels Group is the world’s eighth largest hotel company
- 1000 Properties across 40 countries in the Louvre Hotel Group
- 44 Existing hotels comprising 6443 rooms in MENA
- 46 Upcoming MENA hotels comprising 7678 keys to open by 2016
- 1962 The Golden Tulip brand was established

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