Dubai's HMH to double Sudan portfolio in 2014
Group to add more budget hotels to UAE pipeline for Expo2020
Dubai-based Hospitality Management Holdings plans to double its presence in Sudan in 2014, according to the report in The National.
HMH currently manages one hotel each in the cities of Port Sudan and Khartoum, and is set to open two more hotels in both cities. Both the 64-room Ewan Nile Tower in Khartoum and the 60-room Ewa Port Sudan are due to open in H2 of 2014.
The two properties will be placed under the upscale Coral Hotels & Resorts brand HMH currently manages in Sudan, joining the existing114-room property in Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and the 272-room Khartom hotel, which targets business and government guests.
HMH chief executive Laurent Voivenel said: “Sudan is one of the largest countries in Africa. It is safe unless you go to South Sudan, and we want to get in before the bigger guys go in. And you would be surprised by the tourism in Sudan. It can be a land of opportunities in future.”
Commenting on high risk regions, Hotel Development Resources partner John Podaras explained: “International operators are not averse to taking on risk, so long as they are suitably remunerated and supported by their governments as indicated by the flags flying in Baghdad and Kabul. Where there is strategic government support and a special relationship between countries, UAE home-grown operators are often encouraged and rewarded for entering these markets.”
Apart from Sudan, HMH is eyeing markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, India and China in addition to expanding outside Baghdad, where it has a Coral hotel.
Over the next quarter, HMH is expected to open the Coral Muscat Hotel and Apartments with 88 one and two-bedroom apartments.
The group also expects to announce a 304-room Coral International Sports City hotel in Dubai while simultaneously focusing on reviving its budget brand Ecos around Expo 2020.
“Coral has been developed outside the UAE and when I came in I proposed that it should expand in the UAE as well to tap into the key feeder markets of the Gulf and Saudi Arabia,” explains Voivenel.
HMH is currently developing three Ecos projects, of which two will be in the UAE. Three out HMH’s 14 Coral hotels are also based in the UAE.