Millennium Hotels to double portfolio sustainably


illennium Hotels & Resorts MEA is on the road to expansion. “We’re looking at doubling our portfolio over the next seven years, and to get from the 60-plus properties we currently have to 120-plus properties,” Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim, CEO of Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA and Lakhraim Group, confirmed to TTN Middle East.

The hotel chain also announced at Arabian Travel Market 2024 that it had become a member of the World Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Through its strong programme, the “Millennium’s Green Path Brand Playbook,” the brand had set ambitious targets, including a 27 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
by 2030.

One of the factors steadily influencing the growth of Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA is the fact that the hospitality sector in the Middle East is growing rapidly. “We are lucky to be in a region that is the fastest-growing region in the world. Just from a statistical perspective, from new developments, this region represents 30 per cent of global new developments in the hospitality sector, so it is the fastest-growing market,” said Kazim.

We look at technology as being an enabler for us to be able to serve our guests better. We’re looking at technology as being a guest experience augmenter
– Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim

Taking advantage of demand, Millennium has recently opened branches in Doha and has a new one opening in Jeddah. Millennium Hotels also inked an agreement with Umm Al Quwain’s Department of Tourism and Archaeology to exchange knowledge and expertise, and create future tourism opportunities in the Emirate.

“We also have new properties coming up in Saudi Arabia’s Abha, in Madinah, and there’s a lot more in the pipeline that’s coming up. So, from a growth perspective, we are very

“Millennium is a great representation of a global brand with a very strong regional presence in its DNA.”



Kazim also spoke about how the expectations of clients have evolved post COVID. He explained, a cookie-cutter approach would no longer work. “The demand that has come through is very experiential driven. Guests come expecting something with a different twist, with a new flavour. They expect high level of differentiated experiences that they wouldn’t find otherwise. We’re also evolving to meet the demands of our customers,” he said.

It’s all about offering the client insight into the place they are staying in. “If a guest comes in, let’s say, from the West, what do they generally get? They find the all-day dining, amenities that are probably the same they will find back home, restaurants and spa treatments very similar to what they have at home.

“What we are trying to develop using our extensive platform, is to plug in unique, regional experiences. We have signed up a partnership with a procurement platform called Watermelon, which helps us buy from local farmers.

“A simple example is if I’m sitting at

the breakfast table and I have a jar of honey in front of me, and this honey has an interesting and detailed origin story – this is the type of narrative that people are looking for now,” says Kazim.



The chain differentiates itself from other hotels by focusing on being a business about ‘people’, said Kazim. “Whatever we look at we don’t forget the ethos of hospitality,” he explained, adding, “We look at technology as being an enabler for us to be able to serve our guests better. We’re looking at technology as being a guest experience augmenter. So, we start from before they come to the property, how they can get a better idea of where they’re booking, get an idea of what type of services they will be getting while they come to check in, to have a seamless experience through check in.”

Millennium hotels is at the forefront of using the latest tech, such as the smartphone becoming the source of access to a room instead of the use of a key card. “How do we ensure that the guest has been able to get a full-fledged, satisfying experience on his stay,” he said.

Another post-COVID development is the rise in residential developments, said Kazim.  There are two reasons for this, he explained. The first is, people have started to prefer a longer duration of stay, where they prefer self-catering options, and the other thing is that domestic tourism has picked up. “Yes, the long stay is something that we have. We have a good number of serviced apartment offerings.”

The way forward is growth through strong partnerships, he says. “I am a true believer that in this industry, you need to have strong partnerships through and through. Be it tour operators, be it destination management companies…and we’ve been fortunate enough in this region to have some really strong partners that we’ve been working with over the last 24 months or so.”

“I need a strong ecosystem to support and nourish these relationships that we are building,” he explained.