PARSIPPANY, NJ (May 4, 2010) — RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and one of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN), today announced the addition of two affiliated resorts to its worldwide exchange network – The Viking Club Hotel in Egypt and The Jdoudna Hotel in Syria.
The Viking Club Hotel in Sharm el Sheikh is situated within walking distance of the famous Na’ama Bay district and offers a spectacular view of the bay. Na’ama Bay features world-class shopping, a wide array of restaurants and an energetic night scene. The resort has two swimming pools, a restaurant, dive centre and a private beach accessed by a regular shuttle bus service. The resort currently operates 180 units with a further 80 under construction as part of phase 2 of its development.
“RCI invented the exchange business over 35 years ago and has been the innovator and leader ever since. Their diverse selection of compelling resorts the world over deliver high quality vacations to their members. Being associated with RCI was important to The Viking Club Hotel, “said Eng. Ramadan Abdel Rehim Haggag, CEO of the Viking Group. “RCI offers an exciting mix of technological and market access, greatly enhancing the distribution of our resort by making it available to millions of RCI Members worldwide.”
The Jdoudna Hotel is located on the top of Syria’s Bloudan mountains, 1,800 metres above sea level, offering a magnificent view of the Bloudan Valley. The town, 65 km northwest of Damascus and 85 km from the Mediterranean, is surrounded by lush plantations of fruit trees during the summer and a covering of snow during the winter. All vacation homes feature beautiful views. The resort offers an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and the famous Jdoudna restaurant, offering delicious, traditional Syrian food.
“We are very excited to partner with RCI as doing so adds significant value to our offering,” said Mr. George Mansour, CEO of Jdoudna Company. “RCI offers our owners access to over 4,000 terrific resorts around the world, enabling them to travel extensively throughout MENA and around the globe. We’re glad we could provide this service to our community.”
The announcement was made during the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai, UAE, attended by more than 600 senior executives from the hospitality, developer and real estate sectors from across the region and around the globe. A Shared Ownership Summit was held during the event and was co-hosted by RCI. The summit brought together leaders from the vacation ownership, fractional and private residence club industries. Discussions focused on the increasing relevance of shared ownership products to the continued growth and development of leisure products in the Middle East and North Africa. Industry leaders shared insights that will assist new entrants and discussed strategies that could lead to significant sales growth over the coming years.
“We are very pleased to expand our portfolio in the Middle East by welcoming The Viking Club Hotel and Jdoudna Hotel into the RCI network,” said Jonathan Back, managing director, RCI Europe, Middle East, Africa & India. “These beautiful resorts are tremendous additions to the collection of vacations resorts we offer our RCI ® Weeks members.”
“We are continually seeking new vacation destinations and experiences to offer RCI members in the Middle East and around the globe. The addition of The Viking Cub Hotel is very timely as we see tremendous demand from our 3.8 million members for Sharm el Sheikh”, added Jeff Tisdall, managing director, RCI Middle East. “The Jdoudna Hotel will enable our members to explore the natural beauty and rich history of Syria firsthand.”
A recent 2010 report published by RCI’s consulting arm NorthCourse found that Sharm el Sheikh was second only to Dubai as the preferred destination in which to own a vacation ownership interest.