Rotana Hotels gets an edge over business with new conversion brand

Rotana Hotels gets an edge over business with new conversion brand
Guy Hutchinson, president and CEO of Rotana.
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Updated 12 May 2022

Rotana Hotels gets an edge over business with new conversion brand

Rotana Hotels gets an edge over business with new conversion brand
  • The Edge, Rotana’s new brand, to launch 25 hotels in three years
  • Room revenues are likely to reach $168 billion in 2022

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Hotels has a new brand and approach to set itself apart in a post-pandemic travel landscape. The hospitality major has launched The Edge, a conversion brand that brings existing and independent hotels under its fold to elevate its hospitality offering.

“It’s the perfect time to launch a new brand post-COVID 19. Hotels that struggle will understand the value that an operator can bring in terms of financial management and overall performance,” said Guy Hutchinson, president and CEO of Rotana, in an interview with Arab News.

“A strong, localized brand like ours can elevate performance and returns. It is ideal for hotels managed by others that may be dissatisfied, feel disengagement, and feel they can perform better,” said Hutchinson.

Rotana’s current portfolio includes 112 properties across the Middle East and North Africa, both in operation and pipeline. In the next three years, Hutchinson’s team hopes to have 25 properties under The Edge brand alone.

“And that is a conservative projection; we begin with two properties already signed in Dubai and Istanbul,” he said. “We see a lot of interest in this concept. Our investors are looking for alignment; the Edge provides them a way to convert to a hotel in a cost-effective way.”

Cutting-edge model

The Edge brand will sit under the Rotana parent company alongside familiar brands like Reyhaan and Arjaan. The new conversion-based brand has a development team in the market, with specialists who meet investors, developers and property owners.

“They are proactive, we talk to all these parties involved and meet with developers, and then we put a selection of brands together that will meet client needs,” said Hutchinson. “We have a specialist development team that focuses on this for us.”

Outside the Edge brand, Rotana has 42 properties in the pipeline and a goal to add eight to 10 new hotels per year. Hutchinson said that the ambitious expansion plans are responsible for maintaining existing Rotana properties and bringing them to pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s been through a difficult three years, and our focus is equally on getting existing stakeholders back to where they should be,” he said. “They deserve our focus, and we are responsible to them.”

Rotana’s strategic success helped the brand emerge with strength from the pandemic. It ended 2020 with an above-average occupancy rate of 90 percent due to clever moves, including offering long term accommodation to employees of the oil and gas industry when they needed a place to stay off-site, as well as approximately 1,500 international medical staff who were brought in to assist with added screenings.

Betting on the recovery

Today, Rotana is witnessing the effects of pent-up travel demand from domestic and international visitors.

“Across the industry, this region is leading travel recovery globally,” said Hutchinson. “At the end of the first quarter of 2022, if we take key cities around the Gulf Cooperation Council: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, these destinations are probably the top five travel destinations in the world right now.”

The hotelier added that Dubai’s average hotel occupancy rates in the first quarter of the year were 84 percent. At the same time, the highest cities were Istanbul and Los Angeles, at 66 percent and 55 percent, respectively. He credited Dubai’s efforts with the Expo and good management of COVID-19 restrictions with a positive impact.

Dubai has become a leading destination for leisure, tourism and hospitality with a regular stream of investment. Dubai’s hotel sector experienced its highest occupancy since 2007 during the final weeks before Expo 2020, with 91.7 percent of Dubai’s rooms occupied, according to early data from STR.

“Saudi Arabia is also a critical space for us and the industry,” said Hutchinson. “As a destination, it’s underserved in terms of the number of hotel rooms. There is also a massive focus from the government on developing tourism infrastructure. It’s a significant opportunity to be at the beginning of that journey.”

Rotana already has seven hotels in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, with another seven in various stages of development in the Kingdom. The team is particularly interested in new destinations that are opening up and have proven popular with domestic travelers, including Alkhobar and AlUla.

“We are interested in expanding, but less in the established cities and more so in these parts of the country opening up and developing tourism infrastructure,” he said. “I think Saudi will surprise us.”


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday
Updated 2 min 57 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main stock market ended Monday with another steep decline, as concerns over the global economy and mixed earnings reports tempered investor optimism.

TASI lost 0.8 percent to 12,235, while the parallel market Nomu added 0.15 percent to 22,363.

Dubai’s stock market led the fall in the Gulf as it shed 2.5 percent, followed by indexes of Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, with a 2.2 and 1.5 percent decline, respectively.

Bourses of Bahrain and Oman edged lower, while Qatar’s QSI bucked the trend to close 1.4 percent higher.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Egyptian main index was up 0.5 percent in the previous session.

In energy trading, concerns over a possible recession and China’s COVID-19 curbs caused oil prices to drop on Tuesday.

Brent crude went down to $112.06 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate retreated to $108.97 a barrel as of 9:06 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

SATORP, a joint venture between oil giant Aramco and France’s Total Oil Co., has turned in a profit of SR1.43 billion ($382 million) in the first quarter of 2022

Saudi Real Estate Co.’s losses widened by 539 percent to SR29.4 million in the first quarter despite a surge in sales

Shareholders of Etihad Etisalat Co., known as Mobily, approved the board’s proposal to pay out SR0.85 per share in dividends for 2021

Alkhaleej Training and Education Co.’s losses were trimmed by 33 percent to SR5.09 million in the first quarter of 2022

Alhokair Group saw its losses narrowing by 48 percent in the first quarter to SR31 million

National Gypsum Co.’s profit dropped by 77-percent to SR3.2 million in the first quarter

Basic Chemical Industries Co. said it will not distribute cash dividends to shareholders for 2021

Al Moammar Information Systems Co., also known as MIS, reported a 50 percent drop in quarterly profit to SR4.6 million

Shareholders of Riyadh Cement Co. approved a dividend distribution of SR0.75 for the second half of 2021

Al-Babtain Power and Telecommunication Co. posted a 43 percent profit decline to SR8.7 million in the first quarter

Allied Cooperative Insurance swung into a net loss before Zakat of SR29.6 million in the first quarter, compared to SR3.4 million in profit a year ago

National Metal and Manufacturing Co. slightly widened first-quarter losses from SR7.08 million to SR7.14 million

Raydan Food Co.’s losses were narrowed by 49 percent to SR4.7 million in the first quarter as its accumulated losses reached 48 percent of capital

Scientific & Medical Equipment House reported a 10-percent drop in first-quarter profit to SR16.8 million

Jazan Energy and Development Co. posted a 75 percent profit jump to SR3.56 million for the first quarter of 2022

Salama Cooperative Insurance Co. turned into a net loss of SR6.8 million before Zakat in the first quarter of 2022

Al Jouf Cement Co. submitted a filing to the Capital Market Authority as it seeks to cut capital by SR343 million

Saudi Arabia Refineries Co. swung into losses of SR658,446 in the first quarter of 2022

Middle East Specialized Cables Co.’s first-quarter profits dropped from SR900,000 to SR100,000 despite a 68-percent jump in sales

Amana Cooperative Insurance Co.  got approval from CMA to raise its capital by SR300 million through a rights issue

Development Works Food Co. turned into losses of SR2.26 million last quarter on the back of higher costs

Arabia Insurance Cooperative Co.’s request to raise capital by SR265 million was approved by CMA

Calendar

May 24, 2022

Naseej for Communication and Information Technology Co.’s listing on Nomu

May 25, 2022

End of Amwaj International Co.’s IPO subscription

Aqaseem Factory for Chemicals and Plastics Co.’s listing on Nomu

May 26, 2022

End of Ladun Investment Co.’s IPO book-building

May 30, 2022

Close of Anaam International Holding Group’s rights trading

June 2, 2022

Close of Anaam International Holding Group’s new shares subscription


UAE’s ADNOC, BP and Masdar sign new energy partnership

UAE’s ADNOC, BP and Masdar sign new energy partnership
Updated 13 min 55 sec ago

UAE’s ADNOC, BP and Masdar sign new energy partnership

UAE’s ADNOC, BP and Masdar sign new energy partnership

DUBAI: The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said on Tuesday it, oil major BP and Abu Dhabi future energy company Masdar will advance their new energy partnership through the development of clean hydrogen and technology hubs.

ADNOC said it, alongside BP, moved to the design phase of the H2Teesside low-carbon hydrogen project, its first UK investment.

Other partnerships included a feasibility study for a low-carbon hydrogen project in the UAE and an expanded ADNOC-BP-Masdar partnership to explore the production of sustainable aviation fuels from municipal waste and green hydrogen in Abu Dhabi. 


India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; Serum plans African vaccine plant; Paytm expects central bank curbs to be lifted soon

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; Serum plans African vaccine plant; Paytm expects central bank curbs to be lifted soon
Updated 23 min 27 sec ago

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; Serum plans African vaccine plant; Paytm expects central bank curbs to be lifted soon

India In-Focus — Indian shares rise; Serum plans African vaccine plant; Paytm expects central bank curbs to be lifted soon
  • Africa was the only continent that did not have its own manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines during the worst phases of the pandemic

MUMBAI: Indian shares rose slightly on Tuesday, helped by automobile and metal stocks, with investors watching the shares of newly-listed logistics firm Delhivery.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.13 percent at 16,236.35 by 0350 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.14 percent to 54,365.34.

Vaccine giant Serum plans African plant in global expansion

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, is considering setting up its first manufacturing plant in Africa as it looks to expand globally after its success in selling COVID-19 vaccines, its CEO told Reuters on Monday.

“It’s never been a better time to be a vaccine manufacturer. I’m looking at expanding our manufacturing across the globe,” SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“There are some great countries out there: South Africa, Rwanda, you know, to name a few that we’re looking at.”

Africa was the only continent that did not have its own manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines during the worst phases of the pandemic in the last two years, leaving it at the mercy of suppliers from overseas, including the SII.

Paytm payments bank expects central bank curbs to be lifted soon

India’s Paytm Payments Bank, which facilitates transactions on mobile commerce platform Paytm, expects the central bank to allow it to resume taking on new customers in the next few months, a top executive told Reuters.

In March, the Reserve Bank of India ordered a comprehensive audit of the company’s IT systems, citing “material” supervisory concerns, without elaborating further, and barring it from taking on new customers.

The bank is working with the RBI to complete the IT audit and address the regulator’s concerns.

“The process is underway and we think it should take three to five months from where we are right now,” Madhur Deora, group chief financial officer, Paytm, told Reuters on Sunday.

SoftBank-backed logistics firm Delhivery valued at $4.9bn in India debut

Shares of Delhivery, an Indian logistics startup backed by SoftBank Group, rose as much as 7.6 percent in their market debut on Tuesday, giving the company a valuation of 379.60 billion rupees ($4.89 billion).

The Gurugram-based company’s services include parcel transportation, warehousing, cross-border and supply chain services to more than 23,000 customers, and counts popular e-commerce sites such as Amazon Inc. and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart as its clients.

Delhivery’s IPO, trimmed by nearly 30 percent to 52.35 billion rupees, was subscribed 1.63 times earlier this month at an offer price set at 487 rupees.

The offering included a fresh issue of shares worth up to 40 billion rupees and an offer for sale of shares worth 12.35 billion rupees from existing shareholders, including US private-equity firm Carlyle Group Inc. and Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

(With input from Reuters) 


Commodities Update — Gold inches lower; Soybean, corn ease; COFCO International sets 2030 target on soy land use

Commodities Update — Gold inches lower; Soybean, corn ease; COFCO International sets 2030 target on soy land use
Updated 30 min 47 sec ago

Commodities Update — Gold inches lower; Soybean, corn ease; COFCO International sets 2030 target on soy land use

Commodities Update — Gold inches lower; Soybean, corn ease; COFCO International sets 2030 target on soy land use

RIYADH: Gold edged lower on Tuesday, as the US dollar rebounded slightly after a slide in the previous session, weighing on demand for greenback-priced bullion.

Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,850.40 per ounce, as of 0240 GMT, after rising to its highest since May 9 of $1,865.29 on Monday. 

US gold futures were flat at $1,848.20. 

Silver falls, Palladium up

Spot silver dipped 0.3 percent to $21.71 per ounce, while platinum eased 1.3 percent to $946.00. 

Palladium edged up 0.1 percent to $1,994.50. 

Wheat up

US wheat futures extended gains on Tuesday, supported by a slower pace of spring wheat planting and amid fears over yield for the winter crop in the US, while corn fell after output concerns in key producer Brazil eased with minor frost.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.21 percent at $11.92-1/2 a bushel, as of 0348 GMT.

Corn eased 0.45 percent to $7.82-3/4 a bushel and soybeans edged 0.28 percent lower to $16.82-1/4 a bushel.

Copper eases

London copper prices edged lower on Tuesday after hitting a more than two-week high in the previous session, as the dollar rebounded and demand worries persisted due to ongoing lockdowns in top consumer China.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.4 percent at $9,510.50 a ton, as of 0217 GMT, after hitting its highest since May 5 at $9,565 on Monday.

The most-active June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2 percent to $10,827.48 a ton.

COFCO International sets 2030 target on soy land use in South America

COFCO International has committed to making its soy supply chain free of deforestation and land conversion by 2030 in environmentally sensitive regions of South America, including the Amazon and Cerrado, the Chinese-owned crop merchant said.

Like other global grain traders, COFCO International has previously pledged greater auditing of soybean crops to help stem land clearance in Brazil that is blamed for reducing biodiversity and contributing to global warming.

The 2030 target would cover the Amazon rainforest region, Brazil’s Cerrado savannah belt and the Gran Chaco zone, which spans parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay, COFCO International’s CEO Wei (David) Dong said in a sustainability report published by the company on Monday.

(With input from Reuters) 


Saudi IT firm MIS reports 50% decline in profits as sales fall in the first quarter

Saudi IT firm MIS reports 50% decline in profits as sales fall in the first quarter
Updated 35 min 35 sec ago

Saudi IT firm MIS reports 50% decline in profits as sales fall in the first quarter

Saudi IT firm MIS reports 50% decline in profits as sales fall in the first quarter

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Al Moammar Information Systems Co. reported a 50 percent decline in first-quarter profit, dragged down by lower sales.

Known as MIS, the information technology firm’s net profit fell from SR9.3 million ($2.5 million) to SR4.6 million year-on-year, according to a bourse filing.

This came due to a revenue drop of 26 percent to SR107 million in the same period in addition to a rise in marketing, salary, and depreciation expenses.

Established in 1979, MIS is Saudi Arabia’s first listed information technology company.