Increasing investor appetite in the Middle East underpinned by strong trading performance and tourism growth has triggered unprecedented development in the hospitality sector. According to industry sources, through projects announced to date, by 2020 the region will add airport capacity for 300 million extra passengers, build over 200 new hotels, add 100,000 additional rooms and grow visitor numbers to 150 million.
HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings is a key player in the halal-friendly segment with an aggressive expansion strategy defined around ‘Value over Volume’. Being a pioneer in creating the first and ‘still the only’ alcohol-free chain of hotels, HMH is the region’s largest group to operate in the dry segment. Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO of HMH, said, “There is no question, Middle East is one of the fastest growing tourism and hotel markets in the world. And halal-friendly hotels will continue to claim bigger market share given the business opportunity and demand. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030 and 30 per cent of this population will seek halal options”.
Laurent stressed, “At HMH we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on halal segment having been successful in penetrating it early. Over the years we have gathered an amazing experience both in terms of operations and market intelligence in the dry hotel segment that is one of our key strengths. Halal-friendly is part of the company’s culture and DNA and not simply a business decision. Unlike other companies whose aim is to have a share of the pie by creating stand-alone dry brands or hotels, all brands under HMH are halal-friendly no matter where we operate. Our primary objective is to offer our customers a safe and healthy environment be it corporate or leisure travellers.”