A Signature Media Publication

Saudi tourism to benefit from mid-market hotels: Awadalla

TIME Hotels’ CEO, Mohamed Awadalla recently outlined the importance of mid-market hotels to the Kingdom’s tourism industry.

According to new research by Colliers International, recent reforms in Saudi Arabia – and widespread investment in the Kingdom’s burgeoning tourism industry – will drive growth in the mid-market hotel sector at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% between 2017 and 2021.

The supply for mid-market hotels is expected to increase over next five years with Makkah, Riyadh and Jeddah to see majority of hotel openings – accounting for 54%, 16% and 12% of the forthcoming mid-market supply in the Kingdom.

Awadalla added saying: “As receipts from Saudi oil revenues have declined, some government departments and private companies have reduced their travel expenses, which in turn has led to an increase in corporate demand for more mid-market hotels, an area of the market that has traditionally been reserved for more luxury properties. Our current pipeline of hotels and residences aims to offer a high-quality hotel or serviced apartment for a market segment that is currently under-represented in the region.”

In April 2016, TIME Hotels signed a deal with Saudi-based Al Fahd Investments. As part of this agreement, UAE-headquartered TIME Hotels will expand its presence in the Kingdom with the management of several new mid-market hotels. The properties under TIME Hotels and Resorts are set to open between 2018 – 2019 in Jeddah, Riyadh and other cities. While, the TIME Express Hotel in Riyadh, set to open around 2019, will be the debut for the Express brand in the Kingdom.

“TIME Hotels has been very strategic with its openings, both in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region, by identifying and assessing the demand within the market. We’re excited by the prospects 2018 brings and look forward to adding further to our portfolio,” Awadalla continued.

New industry movements

Mahmoud Al Zaibak

Mahmoud Al Zaibak, Director of Business Development, TIME Hotels

TIME Hotels has appointed Mahmoud Al Zaibak as director of business development as the chain eyes expansion in the Middle East. Plans include a target of 10 new properties in the Middle East by 2018. Al Zaibak brings with him over 17 years of experience in corporate hospitality experience. He has served in senior sales positions having established successful sales strategies and implemented business expansion plans for a series of international hospitality brands in the UAE and Qatar.

Walter Miculan

Walter Miculan, executive chef, Hilton Abu Dhabi

Walter Miculan has been appointed by Hilton Abu Dhabi by the Corniche in the role of executive chef. He brings with him more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, four of which have been spent within the Hilton Hotels & Resorts family. In his new role, Miculan is now responsible for managing the kitchen teams across Hilton Abu Dhabi. Since joining, Miculan has already brought his culinary vision to life with creation of four special menus for Escape, Ocean Café, Jazz Bar & Dining and Bocca.

Jessica Werner

Jessica Werner, charter sales manager, Global Jet Centre

Global Jet Centre has appointed Jessica Werner as its new charter sales manager. Werner brings with her over 10 years of extensive expertise in the aviation industry across the GCC and Europe. In her new role, she will be handling both the Private and the Group charters business in the GCC and European markets while focusing on growing Global Jet Centre’s team for further expansion.

Alan Stocker

Alan Stocker, general manager, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah has appointed Alan Stocker as general manager.  He brings with him nearly 30 years of hospitality experience. This will be Stocker’s third Waldorf Astoria property since joining Hilton in 2011, having previously managed an island resort in the Maldives and a city hotel in Beijing.  Stocker has also supported various projects for the regional offices in Singapore for Thailand, Bali and Malaysia hotels.

Laurent A Voivenel

Laurent A Voivenel, senior vice president – operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India, Swiss-Belhotel International

Swiss-Belhotel International has appointed Laurent A Voivenel as senior vice president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India. He brings with him over 30 years of international hotel and asset management experience with brands such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Laurent has a proven track record in spearheading corporate mergers and acquisitions, hotel development and investment, multi-brand operations, as well as excellent management experience across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Azel Casianan

Azel Casianan, assistant director of sales, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai

Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai has appointed Azel Casianan as the new assistant director of sales. She brings with her more than 10 years of experience in the hospitality field. In her previous assignments, Azel has worked with hotels such as Rotana Hotel Management Corporation, Accor Hotels & Starwood Hotels. In her new role, she will mainly be in-charge of strengthening business ties with existing clients, as well as generating leads for new accounts. She will also assist the director of sales and marketing in carrying out various sales activities to maximise business opportunities and revenue for the property.