Selling Travel Connect: Rotana

Representatives from Rotana Hotels and Resorts and Emirates met a total of 119 travel agents during Selling Travel Connect: Rotana events held at the voco Manchester (June 3), the Magpie Club at St James’ Park in Newcastle upon Tyne (June 4) and Harvey Nichols’ Fourth Floor Brasserie in Leeds (June 5).

“At Rotana, we believe time well spent, is a life well lived. This enduring thought is at the heart of every experience we promise when you stay with us,” said Anthony Vale, Key Account Director – Leisure at Rotana.

“Our distinct collection of brands includes Rotana Hotels and Resorts. Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana. Centro Hotels, Resorts and Hotel Apartments by Rotana. Rayhaan Hotels and Resorts by Rotana. Edge by Rotana and The Residences by Rotana. We transform moments into memorable experiences as we present a collection of diverse destinations, ideal for every journey,” he added.

Rotana will open its first properties in the UK this year, under its affordable hotel and serviced apartment brand, Centro. Centro New Malden and Centro Kingston will be part of a strategy to develop Centro properties with up to 1,500 keys across Greater London.

Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas

Marwa Mustafa, Executive Assistant Manager – Sales at the Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas in Abu Dhabi, said “To cater for the UK market and families we have introduced an all-inclusive meal plan. What is unique about our all-inclusive meal plan is that it is dine-around. We have seven different choices for lunches and dinners and it is a la carte – we have only one restaurant that has a buffet.”

As alcohol is relatively expensive, the all-inclusive option can save holidaymakers a significant amount.

“We also have our kids club, with Scott Dunn as our partner,” added Mustafa. “Our family rooms are the key selling point for families.” The in-suite rooms feature a small corridor that provides more privacy for parents and more security for children.

“We offer complimentary luxury transfers to the Yas theme parks. Guests can book that 48 hours before they want to go,” she explained and added that a special deal for golfers is available. When seven players pay for their rooms and a pro is housed on a complimentary basis.

Grand Rotana Resort and Spa

“We have refurbished all of our seafront rooms,” explained Essam El Nahas, Director of Sales at the Grand Rotana Resort and Spa in Sharm El Sheikh, which has more than 520 rooms, and operates on an all-inclusive basis. There’s a supplement for ultra all-inclusive packages, allowing guests to choose a la carte restaurants for lunch and dinner.

“At present, we’re running a promotion with tour operators giving an upgrade to the next category of rooms. So when you book a sea view room you get a panoramic view room,” he added.

The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport and 10 minutes from Naama Bay.

Marrakech and Dubai

“We have a golf course onsite,” said Yassir Yassine, Director of Sales at the 640-room Palmeraie Rotana Resort in Marrakech. The 120-hectare site is a 20-minute drive from Marrakech Airport and 15 from the heart of the city. Agadir, which has some of Morocco’s best beaches, is two hours away.

The property has a new Food and Beverage Manager plus a new chef. It offers an all-inclusive package as well as half-board and full-board meal plans. Guests can dine around in any of the six restaurants and three bars.

Rabia Eddaoudi, Director of Sales at the 537-room Media Rotana at Barsha Heights in Dubai, explained that the property started a soft refurbishment last year that will be completed in 2024: “We are upscaling our rooms and restaurants.”

Firas Khatib, Director of Business Development of the Amwaj Rotana at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, noted that the area is a popular tourism destination offering leisure activities, shopping malls, a marina for boat trips, nightlife, restaurants as well as activities for children. A nearby metro station and tram stop offer guests ways of getting around.

“At 42 square metres, our rooms are the biggest in the area. We have 301 rooms including 11 suites. We feature interconnecting family rooms and seven restaurants,” said Khatib. They include the JB’s Gastropub and Benihana, where sushi and teppanyaki is served.

The property features a spa, a kids club and is 20 minutes from the airport. A metro station is located nearby.

“For guests who want to go to Jumeirah Beach we provide a beach kit which has an umbrella, a mat, an ice box and towels,” he added.

Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa

Brian Strouys, Director of Sales at the Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa at Al Aqah Beach explained: “Fujairah is laid back compared to the other Emirates and known for its pristine beaches. The resort is located on the Indian Ocean and the weather is five degrees cooler than any of the other Emirates.”

“It’s a five-star resort with 249 keys, with suites, and six food and beverage outlets. We’re an all-inclusive resort, mainly catering for families. We have a large kids club, with kids activities, but also have activities for adults as well,” he added.

The lobby renovation will be completed by September 15. With a minimum stay of three nights, the property lends itself well to a twin-centre break also encompassing Dubai: “You get the nightlife, shopping and the culinary experience in Dubai then a great beach experience which is unique and authentic.”

Flying with Emirates

Paula Viagi, Inside Sales Executive – UK at Emirates, said: “We are pleased to announce the resumption of our Edinburgh service starting from November 4 2024. The flight will operate daily and complement our current A380 daily service from Glasgow, offering our customers 14 weekly flights from or to Scotland. This route will be served by our new A350-900 aircraft in a three-class configuration, with 32 lie-flat seats in Business Class, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 259 seats in Economy Class.”  

Emirates flies the world’s largest fleet of A380 and B777 aircraft, one of the youngest and most advanced fleets in the sky, to more than 130 destinations across six continents. That currently includes seven UK airports: Birmingham, Gatwick, Glasgow Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle and Stansted.

Emirates offers a complimentary chauffeur-drive service to First and Business Class passengers and its inflight entertainment system, ice, has up to 6,500 channels.

Flying Emirates to Dubai until September 30 gives passengers the opportunity to receive discounts in shops, restaurants and spas across Dubai and the UAE via the My Emirates Pass scheme. All passengers need to do is show their boarding pass.

Registering to access the Emirates Partners Portal allows travel agents to serve customers effectively by gaining product knowledge. It provides Emirates’ latest news, updates and policy information. Handily, product and service information is available in one place and agents can participate in incentives and competitions.

Agents’ perspectives

Julie Mattison from Hays Travel attended the event in Newcastle: “I found it really informative because I didn’t know a lot about Rotana Hotels. It would be great to see more events like this in the North East.”

Graham Townsley, a Travel Counsellor, said, “I thought it was very well organised. It was quick and easy to get between the desks and interesting; good from a product knowledge point of view.”

Agents attending the Selling Travel Connect: Rotana events had opportunities to win stays at the properties present and Economy Class flights with Emirates through the card draw at the end of each evening. Joanne Kinnaird, Justine Sutton. Alex Maxwell-Clarke, Chloe Perkins, Kim McKie and Lisa Brady won prizes in Newcastle.