Robert Warman Robert Warman

Q & A with Robert Warman, CEO, Langham Hospitality Group

WITH MORE THAN 20 HOTELS IN OPERATION ON FOUR CONTINENTS, LANGHAM HOSPITALITY GROUP HAS ALREADY ESTABLISHED A STRONG GLOBAL PRESENCE,

AND AS ROBERT WARMAN, CEO, LANGHAM HOSPITALITY GROUP, EXPLAINS, THE GCC IS NOW ALSO ON THE COMPANY’S RADAR.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: What aspects make the Middle East a strategically important market for the company?

ROBERT WARMAN: The Middle East is an important market for our group and we are excited that we are making in-roads into Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, working with like-minded owners to increase our footprint in these regions within the next five years.

In line with the tourism vision in the Middle East, the increasing number of visitors travelling to the region and the world-class international events being held there, we see a demand for luxury hotels in these markets.

The launch of Langham Place, Downtown Dubai for example, complements Dubai’s strategic tourism vision to annually attract 20 million visitors by 2020.

Langham Place, Downtown Dubai is located in the Burj Khalifa district. […]

In Doha, the opening of Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) will further boost Qatar’s tourism potential and significantly contribute to the country’s status as a globally competitive destination for business events.

This will develop the business events sector for Doha which is estimated to attract 70 percent of Qatar’s visitors and is set to increase [arrivals] to the country by 20 percent over the next five years with a focus on business events.

The development of the award-winning airlines in these regions like Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways [also] present many opportunities.

[…] The source markets in particular for our Dubai and Doha properties include the GCC, Europe and Asia Pacific.

These markets are supported considerably by the direct routes supplied by Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates.

TRAVEL TRADE MENA: When are these properties expected to open?

ROBERT WARMAN: In the next two to three years, we will have our first hotel in Qatar, Langham Place, Doha, Lusail City along with two forthcoming hotels in Dubai [...].

Langham Place Downtown, Dubai will span a built up area of 63,250m2. The USD273 million project will comprise the five-star luxury hotel and serviced apartments, adding a total of 438 units to the hospitality sector in Dubai upon completion in 2018.

With spectacular views facing Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, and Dubai’s Water Canal, the 167-room hotel will provide easy access to Downtown Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid City, Business Bay and the upcoming Dubai Design District.

Offering close proximity to Dubai World Trade Centre and Dubai International Financial Centre, Langham Place will feature a range of facilities, including four distinct food and beverage outlets comprising an all-day dining restaurant, a roof-top bar and lounge, a specialty restaurant and a salon which will serve the brand’s signature afternoon tea, and more than 400m2 of event space for corporate meetings and social galas.

For an unrivalled retreat of relaxation, Langham GROUPPlace, Downtown Dubai will also showcase the group’s signature Chuan Body and Soul.

The spa will offer therapies based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine using the five elemental forces of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

In addition, The Langham, Dubai located on The Palm will open in late 2017.

Langham Place, Doha, Lusail, is slated to open in 2018. Located in the newly-planned city of Lusail which is 23km north of the capital of Doha, the luxury hotel will comprise 238 rooms, 90 luxury serviced residences and 56 residences within the development’s new marina waterfront.

Developed by Real Estate Services Group and managed by Langham Hospitality Group, the hotel will be part of the first phase of the Lusail City development and is located in close proximity to Lusail Iconic Stadium – the scene of the opening and final matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The mixed-use project will span a gross built up area of 83,975m2 and will feature a 207m high landmark tower overlooking the Arabian Gulf, with four above-ground podium levels and 34 upper levels.

There will be six branded duplex sky villas at the top of the podium, residential apartments up to 17th floor, and the Langham Place hotel occupying the highest floors.

[…] We are actively looking to increase our footprint in the Middle East and also look at opportunities to debut in the North Africa region.

The group is also in negotiations for properties in Lebanon, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia and we are looking forward to have some of these come to fruition shortly.