With 30 years of hospitality experience under his belt, 25 of which have been with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Michael Cottan has worked his way up from “humble beginnings”, to his current role as executive vice president — operations, for the Middle East, India and the Indian Ocean.
It’s been a busy year for the group. First up, the operator relaunched its Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa in Oman as a private standalone resort following renovations. It was previously marketed as part of the adjacent Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa.
Additionally, phase two of Shangri-La Dubai’s extensive renovation is also due to finish this year.
The opening of the 236-room Shangri-La Hotel, Jeddah has been postponed to 2019. It will offer serviced residences as part of the development. The group is also looking at signing new projects in Makkah and Riyadh, Cottan tells Hotelier Middle East.
Earlier this year, Shangri-La was announced as the hotel operator for the Bahrain Marina complex, opening in 2022. Within the mixed-use complex, Shangri-La will manage a 250-room hotel, 150 one- to three-bedroom suites, eight beachside chalets, and 21 waterfront villas.
Looking ahead, Shangri-La Dubai has set an ambitious target of tripling the size of the company over the next three to five years, Cottan reveals. As part of this strategy, he hopes to double the group’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East, India and Africa over the next two years. Given his long career with the group, Cottan was also tasked with setting up two new regional centres in Singapore and Dubai to de-centralise the organisation, creating better efficiencies and a platform for development in these regions.