INTERNATIONAL. Best Western, the world’s largest hotel chain, has announced that it is currently developing as many as 25 hotels in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries which will lead it to become the most extensive hotel chain in the Middle East by 2011.The company announced in a press conference in February 2008 that it had signed a partnership agreement with Zainal Mohebi Group, one of the UAE’s top 100 companies. The agreement appoints Mohebi Investment as Best Western’s area brand developer with a brief to manage and oversee company developments throughout the Middle East. The agreement also appoints Mohebi Aviation as operator of Best Western’s international sales office in Dubai, with responsibility for sales and marketing, promotions and public relations around the region.
“The economies of the Middle East are in the midst of a phenomenal growth phase which is fully supported by their governments and which involves a particular emphasis on tourism development, an area where they have considerable resources and potential. Acting on these strong signals, the hospitality sector is expanding accordingly,” revealed Glenn de Souza, Vice President International Operations Asia, Best Western International.
He added that Best Western’s primary focus will initially fall on the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.
The first Best Western hotel in Dubai, Best Western Residences, is currently under construction. The 220-room hotel commands a prime location within Dubai’s main business and shopping district and is only 30 minutes from Dubai International Airport. The hotel has been designed to appeal to short- and long-term business and leisure guests, with a target to achieve 80% occupancy within its first year of operation.
“Best Western has big plans to expand the brand throughout the prospering Gulf region,” added the Vice President. “We are also closing in on two Best Western Premier hotels in Muscat, capital of Oman, a country with enormous natural appeal, ranging from its aquamarine coastline to dramatic mountains reaching into the Arabian Sea.”
The two Muscat hotels feature 180 and 250 rooms and are located within 15 minutes drive of the Muscat International Airport.
“We will continue with this strategy of marking out hotels in prime locations as we pursue our certain goal of having the highest profile and the most hotels in the Middle East even within the short, three-year time-frame we have set ourselves,” de Souza concluded.