A story of transformation and growth
Established in 1976, SHARACO was the first publicly traded hospitality development company in Saudi Arabia. Due to changing hospitality regulations, SHARACO developed a new business model to capitalize on the company’s compounded knowhow, massive land bank, and strategic relationships with global operators. Coupled with this shift, SHARACO planned an aggressive expansion program involving significant investment and a goal to triple revenue by 2023. Given these changes, updated branding was needed to align with and signal the company’s strategic change and to tell the new SHARACO story. We were brought in to modernize the brand, but the research we conducted to gain deep insight into the new business model uncovered three fundamental issues that needed to be resolved first:
The name “SHARACO,” an acronym of Saudi Hotel and Resorts Co, was not strong enough: the company was known to the public primarily as the generic “Hotels company.”
The company’s hotel portfolio was virtually incomprehensible due to a lack of consistency in how and where the home-gown hotel brand “Makarem” was used and in the proliferation of other brand names used by different SHARACO business units.
The overall brand experience was out of date and out of touch with stakeholder needs, and thus did not project a professional image for the company.
To bring the new SHARACO business model to life, we re-defined the company’s brand essence as The Perfect Combination: serving as an exemplar within Saudi Arabia and beyond— for the successful and responsible development of the hospitality industry and for outstanding hospitality service provision—in order to become the unequivocal partner of choice for any local, regional, or international partner in the Kingdom. We then recommended a corporate name change and created the brand name Dur, which is Arabic for “homes.” Building on the new company name and brand essence, we developed a distinctive visual identity, combining the Arabic and English word marks, and design system. We also simplified the brand architecture, dividing the company into three distinct businesses, and designed new communications applications, including stationery, forms, signage, advertising, collateral, posters, digital media, cars, launch materials, and merchandise.
To achieve its goal of tripling revenue by 2023, Dur has committed to an investment of SR1.5 billion dedicated to building a portfolio of 20 hotels and six residential communities in Saudi Arabia by 2023. Over the three years following the rebrand from SHARACO to Dur, the company’s revenue has increased 15%, despite the impact of the 13% decline in Saudi Arabia’s GDP during the same period (2013-2016) due to the impact of the global oil price collapse.
Dur has also received significant third-party recognition. First, MEED named Dur the “Hospitality Company of the Year” for 2017. Additionally, Dur CEO Dr. Badr Al Badr, has ranked 25th, 17th, and 17th in Hotelier’s Power 50 (for 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively), as one of the 50 most influential hoteliers in the Middle East.