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Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive reports


Katara Hospitality announces major step forward at ATM

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May 06, 2013
Katara Hospitality announces major step forward at ATM
Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer, Katara Hospitality

Katara Hospitality, the leading global hotel investor, developer, owner and operator, has announced major steps forward in the 12 months since its rebrand, launched at Arabian Travel Market 2012. Exhibiting again at the 2013 trade show, Katara Hospitality said it has accomplished significant milestones in acquisition, investment, development and operations.

“Our new brand was launched last year as a platform for growth,” said Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality. “Our goal is to own 30 properties by 2016, with another 30 in place by 2030. Over the last twelve months, we have made important steps forward towards those targets.”

Acquisitions
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Barwa Real Estate in May last year, Katara Hospitality has recently completed the acquisition of Somerset West Bay Doha. This is the first operational property out of three assets to be acquired under the agreement.

With 200 two- and three-bedroom, fully-serviced apartments, Somerset West Bay Doha represents the company’s first venture into the niche market of serviced residences. It also marks Katara Hospitality‘s first partnership with Singapore-based Ascott Limited, one of the world's largest international serviced residence operators.

Investment agreements
Aligned to its strategy of global expansion, Katara Hospitality signed partnership agreements with the governments of The Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of the Maldives. Through these agreements, Katara Hospitality commits to developing first class properties in prime locations.

“When investing in emerging markets, we believe that our effort coupled with the right vision can aid in developing future ultra luxury destinations,” added Al Mulla.

Current developments
Katara Hospitality has continued development work on new and refurbished hotel properties in France, Switzerland and Italy, with new properties adding 500 keys on track for opening in 2013.

In Paris, on Rue de Fabourg St Honore, the Buddha Bar Hotel Paris has been created within the shell of an 18th Century building. Due for a soft opening in early Summer, the property will provide a lifestyle experience with five star service standards complementing the celebrated “entertainment” concept of the Buddha Bar brand.

Set to open towards the end of 2013, The Peninsula Paris will emerge as one of the most luxurious destinations in Europe representing a legendary hospitality legacy of more than a century.

Also due to open in the latter part of this year, Excelsior Hotel Gallia Milan is the “youngest” hotel amongst Katara Hospitality’s growing international investments. Initially opened in 1932, the hotel has undergone a major renovation with expansion incorporating an adjacent building.

In addition, the ground-breaking event for the Iconic Towers in Lusail City, Qatar, will take place by the middle of 2013. An architectural translation of Qatar’s country seal, the complex is expected to open in 2016.

Operations
Katara Hospitality’s portfolio of operational properties has grown to 13 hotels, partnering with 11 international hotel management companies.

“Today, Katara Hospitality is a company worth more than USD 50 billion, with more than 6,000 rooms operating or under development, across eleven international markets,” added Al-Mulla.

Hamad Al-Mulla concluded: “We are proud of the heritage of our company, being the pioneers of hospitality in Qatar. Now we are taking that pioneering spirit and applying it to iconic hotels around the world, striving to create peerless hospitality environments.”



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