Hard Rock eyes more hotels in the Middle East

Company in talks to open hotels in Qatar, Egypt and Morocco

Hard Rock International president and CEO Hamish Dodds
Hard Rock International president and CEO Hamish Dodds

Hard Rock International, which is set to open its first Middle East property in Dubai in 2015, is in talks to open more hotels in region.

The operator yesterday revealed it will make its regional debut at Marina 101 - which is set to become the second tallest tower in the UAE - in the third quarter next year.

Speaking to Hotelier Middle East, Hard Rock president and CEO Hamish Dodds said the company was in talks to open hotels in Morocco, Egypt, and Qatar.

He said: Our global hotel strategy is to expand our footprint. We have around 20 hotels at the moment and when we look at the Middle Eastern market, our brand has got a good history here and a good reputation and a lot of fans through the restaurant business.

“We are seeing growth potential in hotels. So we are looking at the whole region and there are certain markets that make more sense because of either the economics or the tourism profile or other factors. That’s why Dubai and Abu Dhabi certainly come up pretty high on the list, but also that’s why we are now looking at Egypt, we are looking at Morocco, we are looking in Doha, Qatar.

While Dodds could not reveal more details on the locations for the Egyptian and Moroccan properties, he said the group was looking to announce plans in the next six months.

Dodds also revealed that Hard Rock is also considering markets such as Beirut in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Oman for further expansion in the reason.

“We have local partners that are anxious to get the brand to their particular city or country, and if it works out, we move forward. If the timing is right, the location is right, and the product is right, then we’ll do them,” he said.

The 281-key Hard Rock Hotel Dubai Marina will open in Q3 2015, while a second UAE hotel, which was signed for Abu Dhabi, is set to open in 2017.

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