Established in 2000, Rixos is one of the world’s fastest growing luxury hotel chains. Dedicated to providing unmatched hospitality amid luxurious surroundings, the international hotel employees over 6,500 members of staff worldwide, each dedicated to providing the best in hospitality whilst offering innovative guest experiences that perfectly blend the best of old and new.
Bugra Berberoglu takes the helm as Chief Executive Officer of Rixos Hotels as of November 6th, 2014. After serving as the Senior Vice President Operations for Kempinski’s India, Middle East and Africa region with over 20 hotels, Bugra brings an inspiring leadership style where he will lead and steer Rixos Hotels through its expansion and accelerated growth.
Before moving to his senior corporate role, Mr. Berberoglu chaired the landmark Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, one of the most luxurious and expensive hotel ever built. Prior to his ascent as General Manager of this property, he served as General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar and Regional Director Levant, where he was in charge of three operating hotels and brought four new projects to fruition. Mr. Berberoglu was also General Manager of several marquis hotels including the Djibouti Palace, where he earned the prestigious ‘entrepreneur of the year’ award two years in a row, in addition to the legion d’honeur, awarded by the country’s president of the republic.
Please Mr. Bugra give us a little introduction to Rixos Group.
Rixos was established in Turkey 15 years ago, and has since grown into an internationally recognized brand. Our first resort was conceived in Antalya and today we manage and own 30 hotels worldwide.
In the UAE alone we have two properties, one in Dubai Palm and one in Ras al Khaima, and we are adding another luxury hotel in Dubai JBR shortly. The hotel is slated for completion in the second quarter of next year. We are also heavily vested in Abu Dhabi, targeting a fourth hotel in the country, which would help consolidate our presence in the UAE’s key markets.
Rixos is certainly a hotel brand with a very ambitious growth strategy and I am very pleased to be the CEO of such an enterprise; our fast-paced yet organic growth in the GCC and Middle East as a whole bears testament to that.
What is the future development plans and how will you expand it geographically?
Selecting the right geographical locations for our brand is paramount to our ongoing success. Our current portfolio consists of 70 percent resorts, and 30 percent city hotels. Our Strategy is to continue to grow in proportion to these ratios, complementing our resort business with key city hotels that leverage the brand.
As far as destinations are concerned, we already have 11 hotels in Turkey and believe we have hit a maturity point there in terms of development. Our goal is to expand into emerging trade markets internationally with our city destinations, and continue to grow organically in well-known resort destinations around the world. We will continue to develop the hotels our guests love in regions where we have a presence including Russia, CIS, and GCC. Yet we also want to penetrate new and exciting markets in Latin America, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean for example.
In terms of Operations how well is the operations in the Middle East going for you?
Thankfully the market has received our brand well. Ras al Khaima has been a great success story and is on track to a record breaking year in performance. We also see tremendous growth in Dubai even though there are some challenge areas in certain segments, our hotel performs well. We instill a lot of faith in UAE market and I think by adding more hotels in the country we are certainly backing this up.
Tell us about your upcoming property in JBR
JBR is an area that is very important and in my view one of the best spots in Dubai for tourists and locals alike. We consider that this hotel will be our flagship property in the region both in terms of location and the unique luxury propositions that we offer. Our hotel will have over 400 rooms, 180 residences, Ottoman Spa, direct beach access with cabanas, and some very exciting F&B offerings.
How will you describe the philosophy of Rixos? What is it that makes you different from other five star hotels?
We are a mixture between Club Med and Ritz Carlton. If you combine both of them, that’s Rixos for you. I think this is a best explanation to describe Rixos. Nobody has ever attempted to do this in the industry and this is why we are different. You get the fun, education, entertainment and relaxation of Club Med combined with the luxury and good food of Ritz Carlton and that is a unique concept that no one else has.
Dubai has gone through an important boom, economically in terms of tourism and also with the expo 2020 that is coming, how optimistic are you with the future of the UAE as a touristic destination
We have made a decision to place our headquarters in Dubai and we have taken this decision this year, so for me to move our headquarters and place it in Dubai I think shows how optimistic we are.
We believe in UAE, we believe the future of this country. We feel privileged to be here and I think this is a great time to be in UAE and we hope to see very good returns on our business