Rotana focuses on Mice

Kaddouri... clear focus

ROTANA, the leading hotel management company in the Middle East and Africa, is to participate at GIBTM 2012.

Commenting on its participation, Rotana COO Omer Kaddouri says: “We support Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) and Abu Dhabi in hosting an important exhibition such as GIBTM, which will hugely assist in developing the Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism. We have always been very active with the promotion of our Mice properties all over the Middle East through our local and international sales offices and our participation at GIBTM has assisted us in further developing this sector and in the showcasing our products and offerings.”

He continues: “Mice business is an increasing segment throughout Rotana properties in the Middle East. The approximate current percentage of Mice business is 12 per cent in Abu Dhabi, 15 per cent in Dubai, nine per cent in Lebanon and 11 per cent in Egypt.

“Mice business relies not only on the property’s offering but also on the destination itself. In Egypt, the economic activity was negatively impacted by political instability. Tourism, which accounts for more than 10 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), is one of the Egyptian economy’s lifelines. However, we are still optimistic as Egypt’s amazing historical monuments, attractions and legacy will continue to attract tourists over time if a peaceful political solution can be found. We have felt that security in Cairo is coming back to the streets gradually, it should be noted that in the middle of the events, security in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada was and still normal and nobody, from the tourists to the expat residents, felt any disturbance. We are forecasting or in fact working on increasing Mice business over the next two years to 21 per cent. Sharm El Sheikh is emerging as a conference paradise and our five-star resort, the Grand Rotana Resort & Spa, boasts some of the most hi-tech modern facilities combined with exclusive services, making it the perfect place to host meetings providing both business acumen with rest and relaxation.

“In Abu Dhabi, the increase will be very significant; up to 16 per cent which is a growth of over 60 per cent, and this is due to the initiatives taken by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to promote the destination for Mice. Hosting important exhibitions such as GIBTM assists hugely in the overall tourism development taking place and plays a major role in nurturing further growth in this sector.”

Rotana manages the Beach Rotana which is a city conference resort and a great attraction to Mice, and the Park Rotana which is conveniently located on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, next the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec). In addition, the Yas Island Rotana is located in close to the Abu Dhabi airport, F1 race track and Ferrari World.

In Dubai, Rotana has over 100 meeting/conference rooms with over 14,000 sq m of space. “This market is growing due to the affordability and attractiveness of the destination, which is encouraging us to further focus on this segment,” Kaddouri says. 

In Lebanon, Rotana operates three properties in Beirut, the former ‘Pearl of the Middle East’, Hazmieh Rotana, Gefinor Rotana and Raouché Arjaan by Rotana. “Lebanon has rebounded and is again attracting the Mice business,” he adds.