Minor Hotels has had a good year in the region. It has opened two Anantara-branded properties in Oman, signed the development of the first Minor Hotels property in Saudi Arabia, and — just before the 2016 edition of this list — rebranded the Mövenpick Deira as an Avani property.
Two more Avani hotels have been added to the existing Avani Jebel Dhanna in the pipeline: Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel, in partnership with Nakheel, and Avani Al Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah Resort. The company’s COO, Robert Kunkler, hints at more impending announcements.
Minor Hotels now has 14 hotels spanning 2,678 rooms coming up in the years ahead; this includes the first Tivoli-branded properties in the region. Pipeline hotels under development are located in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Tunisia in the MENA region, with others across the globe.
Kunkler says that in addition to the 10 properties in the GCC pipeline, there are a number of HMAs awaiting “imminent signing” in new markets; he reiterates that the Middle East continues to be an area of key strategic focus for Minor Hotels.
“The senior leadership team and I have ambitious plans to further expand Minor’s existing brands in the region and to explore strategic acquisitions with strong joint-venture partners,” Kunkler reveals.
He continues: “The group’s pipeline is already substantial in the MENA region, and I’ve made sure to be instrumental in securing new management agreements. Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel is under development in Culture Village in Dubai, scheduled to open in 2020. Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort will be the brand’s first property in the emirate when it opens in 2020. In addition, the group’s first hotels in North Africa are currently under development — Anantara Tozeur Resort in Tunisia and Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in Morocco.”