Radisson Hotel Group plans to open five hotels in the UAE and three in Saudi Arabia this year as it works towards its goal of doubling its portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa in the next five years, according to Tim Cordon, the company’s senior vice president for the Middle East and Africa.
In the UAE, the hotel openings include the 206-key Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Canal, the 171-key Radisson Red Hotel and Apartments in Dubai Silicon Oasis, 481-key Radisson Hotel Dubai Damac Hills, and the 253-key Radisson Blu Hotel Apartments in Al Sufouh Gardens.
A fifth property, the 408-key Radisson Resort, is located in Ras Al Khaimah.
The company currently has 13 operational hotels in the UAE, including two that opened in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
Around the wider Middle East and Africa region, the hotel plans to open another 50 hotels with a total of 13,000 rooms, bringing its total portfolio to more than 100 hotels and 24,000 rooms.
“We’ve already doubled our portfolio in the last five years, more than that,” Cordon said. “It’s a pretty sensible to say that we’ll continue along that trajectory. I personally think that’s a conservative target and we can go further.”
While Cordon said he believes “there is still opportunity” in Dubai because of high year-round occupancy rates, he believes that the country with the most potential is Saudi Arabia.
This year, Radisson plans to open three hotels in the kingdom, including the 355-key Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Aziziyah, the 84-room Park Inn by Radisson Jeddah Madinah Road, and the 171-room Park Inn by Radisson Riyadh.
“When we look at Saudi Arabia, that’s probably the biggest hotspot in the Middle East, in terms of scale and opportunity,” Cordon said. “When you look at the number of branded hotels there, they are underrepresented compared to other markets. That demonstrates there should be a big opportunity.”
Radisson currently operates 19 hotels in the kingdom, with 24 in the pipeline.
“Saudi Arabia is going though unprecedented change. It’s opening up and has a number of strategic projects that create massive opportunities for many businesses, including for hotels, particularly in some of the less well known locations,” Cordon said.
“What is going to be critical is choosing the right brands, the right products and the right operating model,” he said.