Successful Deflagging and Rebranding in the Middle East

Deflagging a hotel property from an international or chain brand to develop a unique brand identity is complex. However, this transition can significantly enhance a hotel's market position, allowing it to cater to a more specific clientele and offer a more personalised experience. We explore the deflagging and rebranding journey, focusing on the Middle East market, including the notable example of The Art Hotel in Bahrain.

The Art Hotel, Bahrain

Initial Concept: The Art Hotel in Bahrain was originally managed and operated under the Rotana Hotels brand. Despite its luxurious amenities and prime location, the property owners saw an opportunity to create a more distinct and locally resonant brand identity.

Rebranding Strategy: The strategy involved deflagging from the Rotana brand and developing a unique brand positioning that reflected the hotel's commitment to art, culture, and bespoke luxury.

Brand IdentityDevelopment: The hotel's new brand is centred around the theme of art and culture. The name "The Art Hotel" was chosen to convey this focus immediately.

Design and Aesthetics: The interiors were redesigned to showcase local and international artworks, creating a gallery-like ambience. The hotel incorporated contemporary design elements with traditional Bahraini touches.

Local Partnerships: To keep the hotel's art collection dynamic and engaging, collaborations with local artists, galleries, and cultural institutions were established.

Marketing and Promotion: To highlight the hotel's new identity, a comprehensive marketing campaign was launched. This included social media promotions, partnerships with travel influencers, and targeted advertising.

Outcome: The Art Hotel's rebranding was highly successful, increasing occupancy rates and a strong reputation as a cultural hub in Bahrain. The hotel is now celebrated for its unique blend of art, luxury, and local culture.

The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah

Initial Concept: Originally part of a larger chain, The Chedi Al Bait in Sharjah was deflagged to highlight its unique historical and cultural significance.

Rebranding Strategy: The strategy focused on positioning the hotel as a luxury heritage property celebrating Sharjah's rich history and culture.

Historical Restoration: The hotel under went extensive renovations to restore and preserve historical buildings, integrating them into the new design.

Cultural Integration: Traditional Emirati architecture and design elements were incorporated throughout the property. The hotel also introduced cultural programs and tours to educate guests about the local heritage.

Unique Experiences: Specialised guest experiences, such as traditional Emirati cooking classes and guided tours ofSharjah's cultural sites, were developed.

Marketing Campaign: A marketing campaign emphasised the hotel's unique heritage and luxurious offerings, targeting local and international travellers.

Outcome: The Chedi Al Bait's rebranding successfully attracted a niche market of travellers interested in cultural and historical experiences. The hotel is now recognised as a premier heritage destination in the UAE.

Key Takeaways

Deflagging and rebrandinga hotel property in the Middle East requires a strategic approach and careful execution. Here are some key takeaways from these successful case studies:

Develop a Strong BrandIdentity: Clearly define the new brand's identity and positioning. Focus on unique themes that resonate with your target audience.

Leverage Local Culture: Integrate local culture and heritage into the design, services, and guest experiences. This adds authenticity and appeal to your brand.

Create Unique Experiences: Offer bespoke experiences that differentiate your hotel from competitors and create memorable stays for your guests.

Strategic Marketing: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote the new brand identity. Use digital marketing, partnerships, and traditional advertising to reach your audience.

For more insights on hotel brand strategy and boutique hotel branding, explore our other resources on Brandteliers.

Refined Locations

Blazon Hotels. Carlton Hotels. Dusit Hotels & Resorts.
Albatros Cablogs Herrods Keyfair Mediabion Racity
Dusit Hotels & Resorts.
Elaf Group.
 Global Hotel Alliance. Rotana Hospitality. Whitbread
Nikki Beach Resorts. Millennium Hotels & Resorts. Travco Group.
IHG Hotels & Resorts. Marriott International. Hilton Worldwide. Jumeirah Group. Rotana Hospitality. Kempinski Hotels