UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Rotana, the Leading Hotel Chain in the Middle East, announced signing a one-year agreement as Official Host Hotel for the Arab World Travel and Tourism Exchange (AWTTE 2008), underlining Rotana’s commitment to Lebanon’s top regional travel tradeshow and to further strengthen the company’s leading role in the region.

“Rotana will use the platform of Host Hotel sponsorship in AWTTE 2008 to help promote Lebanon as a tourism destination and our properties based there, as well as our expansion plans for 65 properties by 2012 throughout the region. We are very proud to be supporting the efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism and Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal in their initiative, and we will be exhibiting amongst a large number of national, international and high-profile companies,” said Selim El Zyr, president & CEO for Rotana.

Since inception, the company has grown to be the region’s largest hospitality management company and a brand that is widely recognized and much admired. Rotana currently manages 24 properties spread between the United Arab Emirates (which includes properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Sharjah), Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Sudan and Syria with a further 41 new properties to open by 2012. Rotana’s strategic aim is to have a property located in every key city in the Middle East, and this goal is being steadily achieved through careful long-term planning and timely action.

Rotana is geared towards another challenging year, as they continue to develop. The expansion is taking them into new markets such as Bahrain, Qatar, Sudan, Amman, Oman and Iraq, as well as increasing their portfolio in the UAE and Lebanon. In 2008, they will be opening 4 new properties in Dubai, the first of which opened on September 15 in Arjaan Dubai Media City; Rose Rotana, the tallest hotel in the world, which will open early December; Amwaj Rotana, the company’s first resort in Dubai to open in mid-November and Media Rotana opening in mid-November. This is in addition to the opening of The Cove Rotana Resort in Ras Al Khaimah, which will take place in January 2009.

“Our participation at AWTTE is to strengthen our presence and to support Rotana’s expansion plans reaching a portfolio of 65 properties by 2012. Also, we will be showcasing our rebranding and product offering and promoting our other existing properties around the MENA Region and our entrance to Saudi Arabia and the opening of our first property under our new Rayhaan brand ‘Al Marwa Rayhaan – Makkah,’” concluded El Zyr.