Deutsche Hospitality accelerates expansion

Marcus Bernhardt

We spoke to the man at the helm, Marcus Bernhardt, CEO, Deutsche Hospitality, about German hospitality values, the importance of travel trade and the brand’s big expansion plans.

“A good German hotelier will always aim for perfection in delighting the guests setting new standards in hospitality,” Marcus Bernhardt tells us. “Take a luxury Steigenberger Hotel, for example: if you close your eyes in the lobby, you know by the sound, the taste and the feeling you have where you are – at their second home for most of our guests.

“As Deutsche Hospitality, we are building on more than 90 years of company history, which we are combining with an international vision and established values. Service is the main essence of our hospitality, focused on the small details that turn a guest's ordinary visit into an extraordinary stay.”


“We will be looking at a strategic partnership with the travel trade and tour operators and work with selective partners on exclusivity”
– Marcus Bernhardt


Deutsche Hospitality offers this flavour of German Hospitality blended with Middle Eastern warmth and culture. The unique and varied Deutsche Hospitality portfolio includes the Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts, the new conversion brand MAXX by Steigenberger, our lifestyle option, Jaz in the City, the IntercityHotels at the heart of the city and the Zleep Hotels with quality and design at an affordable price.

“There is room for quality brands,” he says. “Over the past decade, the Middle East has developed into a global hub for tourism and leisure and thus into an attractive market for the hotel sector. Visitors are attracted to the region’s unparalleled retail offering, hotels, beaches, and unique experiences such as a trip to the top of Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE, Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and the old-fashioned souks in Oman. With many new world class amenities and entertainment options being developed in the region for visitors and residents, the tourism sector in the Middle East will attract people around the globe and will continue to flourish which represents a significant opportunity for new brands to establish and contribute to this ever-growing world-class destination for entertainment and culture.

“Regarding our upcoming properties in the Middle East, we have made a conscious effort to represent a judicious mix of upscale and mid-market hotels. Our goal is to offer a wider choice to our guests as well as to support the government’s push to diversify the hospitality offerings and attract a wider range of visitors.”

Deutsche Hospitality is about to open for the first time in Doha, Muscat and Fujairah. There is a focus on developing hotels all over the Middle East, especially in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Jeddah and Riyadh.

Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in Dubai has now been rebranded by Accor as Pullman Downtown Dubai but IntercityHotel Dubai Jaddaf Waterfront will open in Q4 2021 and Jaz in the City Deira Waterfront is estimated to open in 2024. This will be the first Jaz in the City outside of Europe with curated F&B concepts. In the rest of the UAE, Deutsche Hospitality is planning to manage properties in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

Deutsche Hospitality’s expansion plan represents a strategic milestone in the cooperation between the group and its shareholder Huazhu, one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world, the CEO tells us. “The Middle East has always been our key target market with a robust pipeline of hotels scheduled to open in the coming year. The Middle East market has proven remarkably robust during the pandemic and continues to pursue ambitious multi-sector growth plans. With the launch of the first federal domestic tourism campaign boosting the country’s domestic tourism strategy and visa reforms coupled with the robust national vaccination programme, this is an ideal time for regional expansion,” he says.

Going forward the distribution will be a healthy balance of direct bookings and travel trade and tour operators, the
CEO says.

“We are working on growing our distribution channels especially considering our owners strength in that domain in Asia. H Rewards, our loyalty programme, is with more than 150 million members one of the largest loyalty programmes in the world. At the same time, we need to keep our partnership intact with the travel trade partners regionally and globally. The growth should be equally on both ends: we will be looking at a strategic partnership with the travel trade and tour operators and work with selective partners on exclusivity.”

* Find Deutsche Hospitality at stand VB7