ORASCOM Hotels Management expands on its Middle Eastern properties

Travel Bulletin heard from Shady Rimon, the brand's head of sales for Egypt, and Chintan Shanbhogue, cluster director for Oman and the UAE, on ORASCOM's properties at YouTravel's 15th anniversary roadshow. 

ORASCOM HOTELS Management is a 8,000-guestroom development and management firm. Travel Bulletin spoke to the cluster director of sales for Oman and the UAE, Chintan Shanbhogue, about the UK's role in the region's tourism.

How important is the UK market? How has it been to go back on the road?

"The UK market is very important to us. Being back on the road is fantastic, the response has been great. Since WTM, when we started our 'post-Covid' period, the response is fantastic. It's good to be face-to-face — interactions always help.

"The UK market is so well-versed in the UAE and Dubai as destinations. Our Ras Al-Khaimah property being right next to Dubai, just under an hour from the airport, closer to some of Dubai's hotspots, is really helpful in offering the UK market another choice.

"Roadshows such as these are very important events, we definitely want to be in the market a lot more. We have a lot to gain in the UK. As we get closer to our Cornwall project, we'll hopefully become a household name for the future."

Why is Ras Al-Khaimah becoming such an attractive option for Brits?

"As well as being so close to Dubai, Brits know exactly what they'll get from Dubai. This means they're often looking for something different or an alternative to complement their trips to Dubai. Here's where Ras Al Khaimah fits in, with its adventure angle, with its nature angle, with its pristine beaches. This makes it a really attractive destination.

"Of course, on top of this, we're often a more value-for-money choice over Dubai, which is another very important angle. The UK is a very savvy market, so as long as we are able to get out into the market and make ourselves known then we are in the right place.

"Since the restrictions have been lifted, the adventure and outdoor angle is much more attractive. During Ramadan, the cultural aspect is ready and waiting, along with the personal experience."

Head of sales for Egypt, Shady Rimon, also had plenty of praise for the UK trade. 

"It's very exciting, after the pandemic, it's been good interact with the clients."

What does the UK trade mean to the brand?

"The UK market is full of potential for Egypt —starting with Sharm El-Sheikh and spreading to all our properties. El Gouna has taken advantage of this and earned a good share of the UK market; we're investing a lot in the UK market."

What does Orascom see as its unique offering to the market?

"El Gouna truly encourages the mix of tourists and residents. We have a multi-nation community living there and our guests are encouraged to experience the wealth of culture in a care-free environment. Since Covid-19, of course this is an attractive proposition for the guests looking to get outdoors and experience life."

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