When Andreas Mattmüller joined Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in 2001, he was tasked with building the brand in the Middle East. Back then the company’s portfolio in the region included the group’s existing hotels in Egypt, where the regional office was based, and four hotels in Jordan.
Today, Mövenpick manages 50 hotels in the Middle East and Africa, with nearly 20 projects under development. Since Mattmüller’s ascension to the role of chief operating officer for the Middle East and Africa more than a decade ago, the group has penetrated new markets, raising flags in Ghana, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Tunisia, Kenya, Pakistan, Iraq, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethopia, and Nigeria. In addition, the Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts brand ranked second in the region in terms of brand recognition, according to research conducted by BDRC, an independent consultancy firm.
The past year has been extremely productive for Mattmüller. During the last 12 months, a raft of openings and new signings added to his area of responsibility. These include the Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island; Mövenpick Hotel Mashhad, Iran; Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Azaiba, Oman; Mövenpick Hotel Bausher, Oman; Riva Beach Club, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; Mövenpick Hotel Waad Al Shamal (Turaif), KSA; Mövenpick Hotel Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Mövenpick Hotel Lahore, Pakistan; and Mövenpick Hotel El Ein Bay, Egypt.
Among the many initiatives launched under Mattmüller’s leadership was the introduction of free WiFi connectivity in hotel limousines across the Middle East, which enables guests to connect to the Internet using their personal devices or the in-car iPad.
The group’s five hotels in Jordan were also pioneers in the region in terms of implementing Oracle Hospitality Opera Cloud Services, to streamline and centralise sales, marketing, reservations, revenue management, business intelligence, and accounting functions. In addition, marking the group’s commitment to sustainability, all hotels in the Middle East received Green Globe certification.
Food and beverage concepts such as Power Bites, a dedicated menu offering healthy food choices for children, and Go Healthy, offering dishes that are good not only for guests, but also for the planet, which were initially developed by the Middle East team, expanded to become global programmes, available at all 83 hotels worldwide.
Mattmüller says that one of his responsibilities is to attract and nurture young industry talent, supporting internal transfers and promotions within the company. He continues: “We are proud to highlight that 80% of all our senior vacancies have been filled from within our company,” emphasising that, in an industry known for upheaval, Mövenpick has “maintained a very stable, motivated, and dedicated management team, with little turnover during a sustained period of time”.
To achieve its aim of operating 125 upscale and upper-upscale hotels in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia by 2020, the company intends to add to its existing portfolio and pursue diverse offerings, from city hotels to resorts and airport hotels. Mattmüller reiterates the company’s focus on a single brand strategy going forward, stating that, rather than risk dilution, Mövenpick instead prefers to “do it well”, striving to be “best in class”.