• A senior Meliá Hotels International figure has said the company has identified a niche in the Middle East for a resort aimed at the mid-market

    Maria Zarraluqui, global development managing director Meliá Hotels International was making her comments during an interview at AHIC with Hotel News Middle East.

    Zarraluqui was making specific reference to her company’s Sol brand – which already has a presence in the MENA market in Morocco.

    “The brand attracts a millennial type of clientele who maybe can’t afford or even don’t want to pay the price of a luxury brand,” she said.

    “We can see the brand coming over to the market in the Middle East. It could be perfect fit for Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai or Saudi Arabia.”

    She emphasised her belief there is no real competitor in the market for a mid-market resort.

    “There’s a gap in the market. You see a lot of brands in the mid-scale sector – the Mama Shelters and the Alofts – but you don’t see those brands on the leisure side,” she said.

    “It’s a reality that we don’t see much competition there in the Middle East for a mid-market resort – there is the demand, but there is no one else offering it, so for us it is a perfect fit.”

    Zarraluqui said the Middle East is a key market for Meliá Hotels International with eight hotels in operation and 17 in the pipeline.

    She added that two Innside by Meliá will be opening in the Middle East in the near future – one in DIFC and the other in Doha.


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