From Carpet Vendor to Founder of the World-Class Rixos Brand

Exclusive interview

I can think of no-one in Georgia who hasn’t heard about Rixos. Many have even had the pleasure of staying in one of the brand’s hotels. Few, though, know its back-story: that it was established in our neighboring country Turkey as a result of the entrepreneurial spirit and vision of its founder. A strong competitor to other world class brands, Rixos never stops developing and the 27th Rixos was launched in Abu Dhabi just recently. Rixos Saadiyat Island is the first hotel with an “all-inclusive” concept. Entrepreneur Magazine Georgia was the first from Georgia to check it out and also got to meet Rixos founder Fettah Tamince, a person for whom money does not represent the only definition of success, a person who went beyond the borders of Turkey on a forward-thinking and global mission.

Constant Development, Discipline and Global Vision

“I have always been grabbed by the concept of entrepreneurship and have always tried to get involved in purchase and sales. Education, experience and contacts came later, helping me to expand my own enterprise on a global scale.

“You might be a born entrepreneur, with talent such as musicians and sportsmen can claim. However, when it comes to world class, talent is not going to be enough. Non-stop development and discipline are what’s needed in business, as much as in art and sport.

“Although I was born in a small town in Turkey, I’ve always had a vision of how to launch to a global scale. I had to learn foreign languages, build relationships and travel. I worked hard on the path to my goals and I continue to do so even today. It helped me to achieve success and I advise it of others, particularly of young, novice entrepreneurs. Along with unsparing work, vision and direction are of paramount importance. You need to know what you want to achieve.”


“What is success? Success is a balance. If you plan your life successfully, where your family, relations, health and business are balanced, it means you are successful. If you have money, but your children are unhappy; if you have a profitable business, but do not have good relations with others, then you are not successful. As well as work, I always find time for reading, sports, family and friends.”


“Every failure that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That doesn’t mean one should always fail. On the contrary, you must try not to fail. However, it can happen to everyone, and if it does, remember that failure is not the end of world. I don’t belong to wealth, wealth belongs to me. That’s why it’s all right if I lose my wealth: I know I’ll get it back. If I allow wealth to control me and I lose it, I will surely lose everything.”

Advice for novice entrepreneurs

“I would advise beginner entrepreneurs to focus on non-stop development. They should ameliorate their skills and work constantly on the improvement of communications and relations. They say it matters not who you are, but who you know. Visualization of the world is a must – what happens, which direction the world is moving in, how to be prepared for the latest demands, what the world can offer.”

Why Abu Dhabi for the latest Rixos?

“The Government of the United Arab Emirates is doing whatever is needed to become the best in the world, constructing ideal infrastructure and airports. It represents an optimal place for vacations, with excellent conditions for the tourism industry set out by the government, which is why I choose to invest there. Rixos is the 4th hotel in the UAE already. The Abu Dhabi government attempts to take care of nature and ecology and to engage world-class brands and offer visitors entertainment: the Ferrari and Louvre museums, the best golf courses. The rivalry is very high in the tourism industry globally, but the UAE is the best for the winter months which is why we decided to construct the best Rixos there.”

All-inclusive, All-exclusive

“The world brands are enthusiastically interested in the market of the UAE. Rivalry is high and almost every day new hotels are being launched. That is why we try to compete strongly and offer something only we are capable of producing: ‘All-inclusive, all-inclusive’ is our new concept.

“Wealthy individuals also count their cents; that is why they are wealthy. Rich people also don’t wish to book a hotel and then pay double the price for nutrition or other services. That’s why they love us and choose Rixos.”

Everything the best for Rixos guests

“A million people stay at a Rixos hotel annually and many visit all our new hotels, and I thank them. We are clearly aware of our responsibility towards our guests. We know they do not wish to be unpleasantly surprised. One saves money year-round for the perfect two-week holiday and as they have decided to trust and choose us, we need to make everything the best for them. Our brilliant team is best at achieving this - its members know perfectly well what needs to be done, as they have already been working in Rixos for numerous years and are constantly striving for development.

“It is difficult for an individual who spends at least eight days in our hotel, to return home and not be unsatisfied by at least one thing. Our team, comprising 8000 members, devotes itself to decreasing any kind of dissatisfaction to the minimum level. Each guest must feel like a king or queen. This business is an emotion, a vital relationship. It is impossible to substitute individuals with robots in this business, at least in Rixos.”

Regular renewal

“We constantly study the existing global trends related to healthy lifestyles and ecology and change and develop our products accordingly. Nowadays, people travel more, and the demands are increasing respectively. Everything changes so fast; each new hotel we launch is old already. Hotels need novelties. You have to change everything, which needs huge investment.

Rixos on the world map – Strategy 2025

“The Abu Dhabi Rixos is the 27th consecutive hotel in our chain. We have an ambitious plan, along with our partners, among them Accor Hotels, a 50% shareholder of Rixos, to have 100 Rixos hotels operating in 30 countries worldwide by 2025.

“We’re looking to the Asian countries, Indonesia and Taiwan, which are very interesting markets. We carry out ongoing research as to how and in which direction the tourism industry is developing. If the global growth of tourism is approximately 7%, the given figure in Asia is relatively higher. The Chinese travel a lot, especially to the European countries. Where there are 20 million Chinese tourists today, this number will soon reach 50 million, making a significant opportunity for all companies operating in this field.”

Criteria for choosing the architects

“I choose two or three architects from the outset and compare their projects. The visual side is one; the budget second; and time third. I make the final decision taking into consideration these three criteria. I choose the project which meets all three requirements simultaneously. However, few architects are able to present such projects. We should understand that even though the project may be sophisticated, there are always acceptable changes to be made during the working process in order to keep up with the times.

“What we liked two years ago is no longer suitable. For instance, light colors are preferable today and dark colors represent the past. The materials and technologies also change. That is why I choose architects free from psychological complexes; those who can easily adapt.”

What does the name of the brand Rixos mean?

“I am from Antalya. Antalya was a prominent city in the Roman Empire. The strong city of Perga was nearby, and Rixos was the name of one of the founders of this city. [In founding the brand], we started out discussing banal names like ‘Sunset,’ ‘Sunbeach,’ ‘Sunrise’, etc. Then an experienced professor advised me to relate the name of the brand with a historical theme. I accepted and chose Rixos.”

Business Control

“Guests communicate on social media and, alongside letters of gratitude, I receive notes, ideas and recommendations that way. I receive information from the team, read the reports, travel and check the quality of services in-situ, personally meeting with the guests. If I want to find out how the sauna is working, I put on shorts, go in and hear it straight from the visitors themselves. They don’t know who I am and speak about everything quite openly.”

By George Sharashidze, Entrepreneur Magazine Georgia Editor-in-Chief

14 January 2019 17:17