Sir Rocco Forte is in negotiations over projects in the Middle East as he seeks to expand his luxury chain outside Europe. The Times

The Rocco Forte Collection, which has 11 hotels and three new developments, is in talks about taking on management contracts for two hotels in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and is bidding on a project in Dubai.

Richard Power, RF’s brand managing director, said that the company was also looking at possible opportunities in Oman as part of its aim of tapping into the rapidly expanding economy of the region.

He said that despite the strong competition for management contracts, relative newcomers such as RF had an advantage over the big chains: “Middle Eastern countries are looking for new brands as most of the established guys are already there.”