KUWAIT CITY – Safir Hotels & Resorts’ (SHR) is showcasing its portfolio of 9 operational properties at the premier travel, tourism and hospitality event. Notably, the hospitality management company unveils its newest property, future re-openings, and refurbishment plans at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021.
With 9 operational properties that comprise of hotels, serviced residences and a resort with more in the pipeline, Safir Hotels & Resorts is pleased to make an appearance at ATM 2021 to showcase its existing properties and new developments as a testament to its competencies and expansion strategy.
The majority of hotels in Safir’s current portfolio are positioned as upscale properties, but the company has a strategic desire to develop and enter the upper-midscale segment. In addition, it is interested in expanding its presence in the MENA region, with a focus placed on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
NEWEST PROPERTY IN SHARM EL SHEIKH
Safir Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio of MENA properties expanded into Sharm El Sheikh when the company signed a management contract with the Arab International Hotels & Tourism Company in April of this year.
The property at the center of the agreement is the iconic Sharm Waterfalls Resort. The five-star resort boasts a private beach, six outdoor swimming pools including a children’s pool, restaurants, a full-service spa, a children’s club, a health club, and an outdoor tennis court. All 401 rooms and suites at Sharm Waterfalls offer comfort and luxury in the form of deep soak tubs, balconies, and spectacular views of the Red Sea and gardens. The property is aptly located only 33 minutes from the Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, 13 minutes from Sharm Old Town and 7 minutes from Ras Um Sid and Terrazzina Beach by car. The incredible facilities guarantee a memorable experience whether guests stay for business or for leisure.
Mr. Amr Bahaa, Chairman of the Arab International Hotels & Tourism Company, declared: “We are pleased to partner with Safir International Hotel Management, and the Waterfalls contract comes with the assurance of many future projects together.”
“Sharm Waterfalls Resort is one of the Arab International Company's most important investments in the Red Sea region,” Continued Mr. Bahaa, “Which is one of the most vital tourist destinations – a fact that makes the company keen to strengthen its presence there.”
Hussein Shoukry, Area General Manager of SHR’s Egypt branch, said: “Safir has a strong presence in Egypt spanning 35 years which comes with a wealth of hospitality experience, market insight, strategic partnerships, and high guest ratings. We are excited to extend our expertise to our new partner and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
Sharm Waterfalls Resort has already adopted the brand name of its new management company “Safir.” Currently the owning company and SHR are working together to launch a massive refurbishment plan that includes all rooms, restaurants and other facilities.
OTHER PROJECTS IN EGYPT
The management contract for Sharm Waterfalls Resort is one of a number of exciting new developments at Safir Hotels & Resorts. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the hospitality management company will be reopening its Safir Dahab Egypt resort – one of two five-star resorts in Dahab.
Nestled between the rugged Sinai Mountains and the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea, the resort is a peaceful retreat located in a lagoon an hour drive from Sharm El Sheikh. It has a private beach, a landscaped pool area, onsite diving school, wind surf stations, tennis court, and a fitness and massage center. Young ones are not forgotten, with a child-friendly pool and Kids Club. All 159 guest rooms include a balcony with panoramic Red Sea or garden views.
Seven food and beverage outlets ensure guests have a variety of options available to them throughout their stay. Knowing the fun-loving clientele, four of the outlets are bars: one located by the beach, one by the pool, one in the lobby, and one on top of the property’s seafood restaurant that offers spectacular sunset views of the Red Sea.
With these two properties, SHR is building a position for itself on the Red Sea – a presence that it is actively seeking to expand upon.
Just as Safir Dahab Resort’s refurbishment ends, the landmark Safir Cairo Egypt hotel will begin undergoing major refurbishment of its own.
PROJECTS IN KUWAIT
Two of Safir’s Kuwait-based properties will be undergoing refurbishment as a part of a greater repositioning strategy.
Safir Fintas recently underwent an IT upgrade, completely optimizing the way guests connect to hotel staff, the world, and their circles. As always, the company’s selected solutions are cutting-edge, customizable to individual customers, and considerate of the current climate and the preference for contactless communications.
To start, an upgraded network system provides guests with a seamless experience in connectivity, communication and entertainment -- whilst also facilitating the property’s communication technologies.
In-room, telephones were replaced with the latest communication systems that are renowned for both hospitality and guest-friendly solutions.
TV units were upgraded to Smart TVs, offering guests 4k channels and a variety of popular internet-based services such as Youtube and web browsing on 55 and 65 inch UHD OLED screens. Furthermore, an update to the IPTV signal distribution system now boasts the latest content delivering software and central tuning system. It is capable of digitally and interactively displaying hotel and locale-specific information and message broadcasting, in either English or Arabic as per guests’ preferences.
The technology allows front desk staff to message individual guests directly or all at once, and its selection is a testament to Safir’s goal to provide individualized, customized service. In addition, the "digital hotel information hub” replaces the need for physical, printed guest compendiums and promotional material. Therefore, not only does the technology save on printing costs, but it also serves as a form of contactless communication during the pandemic, which helps protect guests.
Other in-room upgrades with a contactless feature include the new door unlocking system, which in addition to a key card allows guests to unlock their room doors using their mobile phones.
Last but not least, the hotel wireless infrastructure was replaced with the latest in hospitality wireless technology. The 100 Mbps bandwidth dramatically improves the guest experience, with every nook and cranny – including exterior areas – covered in full signal strength.
The next stage of development at Safir Fintas Kuwait will be focused on enhancing the hotel’s Beach Garden, residences and main building. The refurbishment will focus on optimizing the guest experience and repositioning the hotel through the addition of pools, a gym, an outdoor kids club and a ballroom. While the refurbishment plan was being discussed prior to 2020, repositioning has become ever more important due to the effects of the pandemic on international travel and the resulting increase in local demand for staycations.
The demand for staycations among the local populace was experienced in full by SHR at the tail end of last year. In the winter of 2020, both Safir Fintas Kuwait and Marina Hotel Kuwait successfully opened their outdoor waterfront areas to the public with the unique and culturally inspired “Kashta on the Beach” and “Kashta in the Garden” initiatives. The initiatives were inspired by a growing trend among the travel-loving local population, who upon finding themselves unable to vacation, were resorting to desert and beach day-trips -- referred to in the local Kuwaiti dialect as a “kashta.” SHR identified and adopted the trend, and used it as inspiration for outdoor seating on Marina Hotel’s expansive, palm-dotted beachside and Safir Fintas’ Beach Garden. The initiatives were so well-received that the hotels were sold out of seating for months.
During the same time period, a Kids Club was developed at Marina Hotel Kuwait that offered the property’s youngest guests entertainment in the form of an indoor play area, mini cinema, and video game room.
Following the success of the Kashta, SHR is currently exploring several directions on how to transform Marina Hotel Kuwait’s beach area and poolside into a full-fledged beach club, complete with cabanas, updated sunbeds, beach and water activities, live entertainment, and revamped food and beverage options.
Aside from the initiatives at Safir Fintas and Marina Hotel Kuwait, SHR has also been busy providing design and technical assistance on the hospitality project at the prestigious Hessah Al Mubarak District in Kuwait, which is currently in its final stage of design.
Safir continues to seek new opportunities around the region in order to strengthen its portfolio that currently includes hotels and hotel serviced residences in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, and Syria.
“As always, we are committed to surpassing expectations. In addition to repositioning our properties and expanding our portfolio, we find ways to add value for our guests through enhanced technological services. We look forward to highlighting our focus on doubling our footprint in the MENA region and strengthening our partnerships at ATM 2021,” Concluded SHR’s CEO Fawzi Al Musallam.
About Safir Hotels & Resorts
Safir Hotels & Resorts (SHR) is a hotel management company, owned by Kuwait Hotels Company (KHC), which is part of the KIPCO Group. Established in 1993, the company manages a portfolio of ten hotels in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon and Syria. Most of its hotels are managed under the Safir brand, except for its flagship property “Marina Hotel Kuwait,” and the “Salalah Gardens Hotel” in Oman. Its portfolio strategy is aimed at growth in the MENA region in the midscale and upscale segments, managing both hotels and serviced residences. As the first Arabian hospitality management company in the region, the company has a wealth of experience in bringing value to hotel development projects and profitable hotel operations. SHR shares no connection to Oman’s Safeer Hotels, nor to Bahrain’s Al Safir Hotel.