Germany's Oetker eyes Dubai, Oman and Istanbul

Operator shows renewed interest after leaving UAE hotel last year

Oetker's new property - Fregate Island Private in Seychelles.
Oetker's new property - Fregate Island Private in Seychelles.

In an interview with Hotelier Middle East, top officials from Germany's Oetker Collection confirmed that it was looking at Dubai, Oman and Istanbul for potential opportunities.

This echoes past interest shown by the hotel operators, which had, as recently as last year, pulled out of a contract to operate the Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi. Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi, developed by Abu Dhabi-based National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels (NCTH), would have been the luxury hotelier’s first hotel in the GCC.

Oetker Collection CEO Frank Marrenbach said: "When you look at where the dynamics are today in the world, the GCC overall represents a very interesting market for us. This is the reason why we have Samir Daqqaq (senior vice president development – Middle East and Africa) here because we need a presence here to look for opportunities."

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When asked if any specific areas were being targeted, Daqqaq said: "We are really focused on Istanbul, Oman and Dubai." Interestingly enough, Doha was not on their radar at the moment, marking a shift from last year when they said the Qatari capital was of interest.

Marrenbach added: "We need an environment where we have some sustainability, and the volatility is not taken to extremes, because that is very hard for a company like us because we engage ourselves long-term."

He said the company signs something for the long-term, as opposed to just for "the next five years" which is why location and longevity are important considerations for the brand.

In the last 12 months, the brand has added three more destinations to its portfolio: Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles, Eden Rock - St. Barth’s in the French West Indies, and L’Apogée Courchevel in the crown of the French Alps. This increases its offering to eight across the world.

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