International hotel brands ‘ruining Middle East hotel market’: TIME Hotels CEO

Published: 13 June 2019 - 1 p.m.
By: Derek Issacs

International hotel brands are ‘ruining the Middle East hotel market’, Mohamed Awadalla, CEO of TIME Hotels said to Hotelier Middle East in an exclusive interview.

Awadalla said that international brands, such as Marriott and Hilton, do not care about location as long as they are able to sign.

“They [international hotel brands] have teams of 5 to 8 people in the head office development department to go sign hotels. They [international hotel brands] want to increase their market share worldwide.

He went on to say how hotel brands are not educating owners but “are more focused on getting signings”.

“Hotel brands used to look for the best location but now location doesn’t matter as long as they can sign,” he added.

Awadalla also said that he strongly advices the authorities of each Middle East country to provide educational sessions for owners of hotels and that the proper advice be made available on “where you [hotels] can open, the category, and how many rooms are suitable for a specific location.

“I don’t think they [international hotel brands] care anymore. Theere are too many brands with the same category in the same area. Look at Al Barsha [Dubai]. How many Doubletrees? How many Hiltons? [There] may be three more coming,” he said.

He also pointed out that the problem he outlined does not affect Dubai so much due to the amount of tourists the emirate receives. "It is able to absorb the amount of new openings," he said.

“Dubai is not suffering so much as there is demand, but I see it very clearly coming to Saudi Arabia, especially Riyadh. “There is soon going to be a problem there,” he cautioned.

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