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Iran could be the next big destination

Omer Kaddouri

Rotana is now very active there, CEO Omer Kaddouri tells Sydney Paulden

Omer Kaddouri is convinced that the next big destination – for business and consumer tourism – is Iran. Omer is President and CEO of the Rotana Group of hotels and if he is right with this prediction, then there is certainly no doubt that his company will be one of the first to derive great benefits from it.
Rotana has been active in Iran for four years now and is very aware of what it is and what it can become.

‘I can reveal – for the first time – that we are setting up an international sales office in Tehran in 2016, coinciding with the opening of a brand new Rotana group property and we will have three more by 2018.’

Local investors and owners are building the properties to Rotana’s stringent standards and design. ‘Yes’, he accepts, ‘other groups might find it quicker to acquire existing hotels in the country.

They do exist but they are in bad shape and it would take a lot to put them right. Our new construction next year will be the first truly international standard hotel in the country to meet the expectations of discriminating travellers.’

Iran, of course, has a rich variety of culture, landscapes and antiquities to offer that have been virtually out of reach and out of sight on the global travel scene for many years.

‘With the right kind of service and facilities available’, says Omer, ‘it will blossom and MICE will be huge’.

City Centre Rotana, Doha - Qatar
Rotana, as a group, currently manages 100 properties under five brands. The main concentration, 35 hotels, are in the Emirates, but there are properties in a growing number of areas, including Turkey, India and Africa. It is now opening its first in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rotana is the top end brand, whilst Centro is an ‘affordable’ offer in key commercial locations. Rayhaan is an upmarket brand to suit the requirements of travellers wishing to maintain their strict personal values. At a Rayhaan, for example, no alcohol is served. Arjaan and The Residences are the group’s apartment properties.

Omer is obviously gung-ho about the growth and spread of the group that he heads. ‘We will have 15 more properties by this time next year’, was his concluding remark.

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