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[March 29, 2014]
Millennium KSA network to create marketing machine [HotelierMiddleEast.com]
(HotelierMiddleEast.com Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Following Millennium & Copthorne's announcement of a three-year pipeline of 20 hotels for Saudi Arabia, Naeem Darkazally, VP sales & marketing, MEA explains tells Hotelier Middle East why the debut property is to open in second-tier city, Hayel.
Millennium Hotel Hayel will open in Q4 of this year with hotels to open in Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina and Makkah, as well as second-tier cities Jizan, Tabouk and Baha by 2017.
Darkazally explains that the company is not looking to establish one-off properties in established markets, but "a network of hotels that can benefit from shared sales accounts and loyalty".
He adds that the new openings, scattered across the central and western provinces, will create a "marketing machine" for the company in the Kingdom.
Highlighting that the company has "invested a real interest in developing the Saudi market with its own team and offices," Darkazally says Millennium & Copthorne has created a "corporate identity" within the Kingdom.
Having obtained a license to operate in Saudi Arabia as a branch of a foreign company, Millennium & Copthorne is currently in the process of establishing an office in one of the major Saudi cities, which Darkazally describes as "a big move; a big investment".
He adds: "Another brand might just pick up Riyadh because there's a lot of money there and they'd just be happy with a unit there until they see other opportunities, but that's not our strategy.
"We're not just going to put Millennium on front of a building and say 'we are in Saudi'. We're going to go there and say 'this is Millennium & Copthorne's corporate offices for Saudi Arabia'. We're going to invest money ourselves, have our experts there to look at strategising openings and development within the company.
"I think Millennium has come full speed with actual investments so we will have our presence noticed in Saudi on multiple levels." With 5000 rooms across its portfolio of 17 hotels in the Middle East, the company is now set to take on the creation of over 7,000 rooms in Saudi Arabia, which will make the Kingdom top priority for the company.
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