As the vice president for sales and marketing in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region for Hong Kong-based hotel operator, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Rob Weeden is responsible for functions such as revenue management, sales, digital marketing, brand communications, loyalty and partner marketing, customer insights and relationship management, reservations, and distribution.
During his five years in the role, he has witnessed and contributed to the opening of new properties in EMEA, including in Bangalore, India; Mauritius; and Hambantota, Sri Lanka. He is anticipating the upcoming opening of the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo later in 2017.
Back in the Middle East region itself, Shangri-La has been fairly quiet over the past year, with no new active additions to the regional pipeline. The anticipated opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Jeddah, which would have been a pivotal entry point into the lucrative Saudi Arabian market, has been postponed from a 2018 to a 2019 opening.
The last 12 months have seen Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai complete a AED 70m (US $19m) renovation, encompassing all 302 guestrooms and public areas, including the hotel lobby, lobby lounge, and the all-day-dining Dunes Café.
Meanwhile, in Muscat, Oman, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa – an integrated destination resort comprised of the family- and leisure-focused Al Waha and Al Bandar hotels, spun off the adjcacent 180-key Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa and closed the property for major refurbishments. Al Husn is scheduled to relaunch as a stand-alone luxury Shangri-La resort by October 2017.