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Gulf Game

Feb 1, 2007
2007 / Feburary 2007

Global Traveler: How did you begin your career at Rotana?
Freddy Farid: I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years and began my career with Hilton. I started with Rotana Hotels seven years ago. This is my first year in Abu Dhabi. My former boss at Hilton moved to Rotana Hotels and I decided to follow. As a young company, Rotana Hotels is a very dynamic and rapidly expanding chain. We started in 1993 with one property, the Beach Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi, which is the flagship of the company. Now we have 21 properties in the Middle East and are planning to expand to 50 properties by 2009.

GT: What makes the Rotana brand unique in the Gulf region?
FF: The U.A.E. represents the strength of Rotana. We have properties in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar, with continuous development in Dubai. The company is originally from Abu Dhabi and our chairman, Nasser Al Nowais, is from the Emirates. Being a local company, we understand the culture and how investors think. Touching their hearts and meeting their needs helps us to make a successful venture. Understanding the local culture is a paradigm in the industry that helps us reach our success. Rotana is straightforward and we call people by name. The owners and the staff have a close connection, allowing us to share ideas for growing our business.

GT: What business services does the Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers offer travelers from abroad?
FF: The fact that the property is a one-stop destination for business travelers and for tourists alike is a huge draw. The hotel is state of the art. Major developments started in 1993 and five years ago the property underwent a complete renovation, adding the tower and beach wings. Joined with the Abu Dhabi mall for shopping, the hotel offers state-of-the-art amenities, including high-tech products in the rooms, high-speed Internet, video conferencing, ballroom and conference space, and an executive club floor.

The executive level has increased in size as well, due to the popularity of the hotel. We started with two floors and increased to four in order to meet the needs of the business traveler. We have 414 rooms, 120 of which are club rooms. Rotana offers the right formula for the business traveler, with time for work and time to relax without having to step out of the hotel. Food and beverage facilities are superb, as are the beach and the shopping. Additional facilities to come will include our spa which will open in April.

GT: Does Rotana have plans to expand outside the region?
FF: At this point, Rotana will continue to focus on the Gulf and Middle East, giving guests a rich taste of what the region has to offer.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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