By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
Swiss hospitality chain Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, which operates two hotels in Qatar, is in talks with Katara Hospitality for setting up another hotel in Doha, revealed Gerard Hotelier, vice-president Operations, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East & India.
He was interacting with the Gulf Times during the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai yesterday. Mövenpick already operates two hotels in Qatar under different owners.
Gerard said that the discussions for the third property were in the initial stage. “We see a lot of potential in Qatar and we have plans for setting up another hotel in the country soon. We already have one property under Katara Hospitality and we will be glad to have one more under the same group. Katara Hospitality is developing various properties in Qatar and outside,” he said.
He added that he was hopeful about the outcome of the talks and would be able to operate one more hotel in the country soon.
The official also pointed out that there was a great potential for hotel business in Qatar. He said: “It is not 2022 football World Cup alone that provides the opportunities. The country is on a long term growth trajectory with lots of activities and this will lead to the growth of the country in various ways.”
He said that for the football World Cup there would be various possibilities to accommodate the guests as it happened in many other host cities.
“Many would fly in and out on a daily basis staying in neigbouring countries. There could also be floating hotels,” he said adding that cultural tourism was going to be one key tourism attraction in Qatar.
According to Gerard, both the hotels in Qatar are undergoing renovations. The old Mövenpick which is under Katara Hospitality will have a renovated lobby and reception area.
“The rooms in the hotel are very large and spacious enough. Only the lobby and the reception area need to be redone,” he said. The business in the hotel was quite impressive with more than 80% occupancy rates, he said.
As for Mövenpick Suites and Towers, Gerard said that major renovations are already under way in the hotel.
He said: “Half of the rooms have been completed and the other half will be completed by the summer this year. Our occupancy level in this hotel is around 60% as there are a number of competitors in this sector.”
Gerard also revealed that the group will have 100 hotels by 2014. “We have four divisions all across the world which are Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We are looking for equal growth in all the four regions,” he added.