Tarek M. El Sayed
Tarek M. El Sayed, Managing Director and CEO, Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company, is optimistic about the year ahead with more properties expected to open in 2019.
How has business been in Qatar during the past year for your company
ARTIC’s resilient business model with its focus on diversity in terms of geographic presence, business type and business operating partners means we are well-placed to meet different challenges. ARTIC’s business operations in Qatar have continued to perform well. Our operating businesses enjoy leading market positions and partner with renowned international operators of the highest quality. Ideally located in the center of Doha with direct connectivity to one of Doha’s leading shopping centers (“City Center Doha”) and within walking distance of the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, our properties are ideal for business or leisure. Regarding projects under development, we have made good progress in the past year and are confident that 2019 will see the opening of more properties as planned.
You’re involved in the hospitality sector – how are you finding the industry overall in Qatar?
Along with the strong Qatari economy, government initiatives such as easing entry visa restrictions and the ongoing efforts of the Qatar Tourist Authority to promote the country’s tourism credentials including business and conference tourism, have all increased in-bound tourism and played a vital role in supporting Qatar’s hospitality industry.
What are the main challenges that you face? How has the blockade affected business, and how have you tried to mitigate this challenge?
While challenges are always present, it’s ARTIC’s entrepreneurial spirit and strategic thinking which enable us to turn these challenges into new opportunities. ARTIC’s unique business model and diversified geographic footprint allows us to mitigate the risks faced in specific markets. Although the blockade reduced the number of visitors from two neighboring countries, the swift initiatives implemented by the government and Qatar’s strong economy have led to growth of around 2% and have opened up new and bigger markets.
What are your expectations for 2019?
We look forward to strengthening our global position within the hospitality investment sector and to progressing our medium-term objective of becoming a listed company on one of the world’s leading stock exchanges.
We will continue to seek new investment opportunities and to further develop our investment portfolio. We will also continue to support our partners to create incremental value and enhance asset quality, while ensuring that our projects under development progress as scheduled.
Are you gaining much business from work around the 2022 World Cup work and the gas industry?
Yes, absolutely. One of our key strategies is to leverage the growth opportunities driven by Qatar’s significant investments in tourism and infrastructure which in turn are driving demand for accommodation facilities across the county.
Do you have any significant investments planned for 2019?
We’re always looking for new opportunities that add value to our portfolio and benefit all our stakeholders. ARTIC benefits from a strong financial position, an ambitious but achievable growth plan and a highly qualified leadership team which allows us to seize attractive opportunities when they arise. We are currently assessing some potential new investments which will be announced depending on our final decision.
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