It’s been barely four months since Aboudi Asali took charge as the chief executive officer at HMH — Hospitality Management Holding, and things are already changing. The group has significantly reduced the operating costs at its hotels, by approximately 15%, with an improved top line. He tells Hotelier Middle East: “What is noteworthy is that this was achieved without any redundancies.”
Asali, with more than 19 years of experience in the GCC — one year in Jeddah, three in Bahrain, and 15 years in Dubai — oversees HMH’s 12 hotels and 1,636 rooms currently in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Dubai-based hospitality firm has five new hotels under construction and five additional properties under design. A further 10 are in the pipeline in the region.
HMH recently introduced a new brand, called Bahi, which targets both business and leisure travellers. “We launched Bahi Hotels & Resorts in April 2017. It is a fantastic addition to our impressive portfolio of existing brands serving varied market segments,” Asali tells Hotelier Middle East.
Under the HMH umbrella, Asali plans to operate 20 hotels by 2020 and an additional 30 by 2026. He explains that the hotel operator sees a massive opportunity at the moment for mid-market and budget hotels, and says it will be working towards opening hotels in the budget range.
The operator’s next big opening is the Coral Al Madina Hotel, scheduled for next year. The property is being developed to be “the first smart hotel in Madina”, offering sophisticated technology, including “high-tech, fully computerised rooms”. The property will feature more than 400 rooms and suites, spread across 10 floors and five basement levels.
“It is going to be the biggest and most prestigious opening of 2018 for us,” Asali says.