In contrast to 2016, UAE-based Shaza Hotels has been keeping a lower profile this year. Only a year ago, the independent five-star operator, which is affiliated with Kempinski and supported by Shaza Hotel Investment Company, and is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), revealed a slew of expansion plans in the region. President and CEO, Simon Coombs, informed Hotelier of the company’s intention to open three or four hotels from 2017 onwards.
Also in 2016, in celebration of its sixth anniversary and having hosted its millionth guest, Shaza Al Madina, the group’s sole operating hotel, announced plans for a US $2.7m refurbishment.
The low-key public image is set to change in the latter quarter of 2017, however. According to the company’s website, three hotels are slated for a 2017 debut under the new upscale four-star brand, Mysk by Shaza, in Muscat, Makkah, and Salalah.
While Saudi Arabia is high on the company’s agenda, with openings planned in Riyadh in 2018 and Jeddah in 2019, other GCC destinations, namely Amman and Bahrain, are also on the cards. Shaza’s rate of development may be considered leisurely by some industry observers, but in its bid to be the luxury branded hotel of choice for the Middle Eastern traveller, the company seems convinced that slow and steady will win the race.