Dubai hotel operator eyes Saudi Arabia as part of expansion plans
Dubai-based Jumeirah Group plans to add 10 luxury hotel properties to its portfolio by the third quarter of 2011. The hotel operator and developer currently has 20 hotels currently under development, all of which are scheduled to be finished by 2013.
According to Gerald Lawless, executive chairman of Jumeirah Group, Saudi Arabia represents a vital market. “As a Dubai company, we cannot ignore what is happening in the Saudi tourism market. We are in frequent talks with our contacts there and we are paying close attention to the government’s plans for large-scale development. Saudi Arabia will continue to be a very important market for us.”
In addition to potential projects in Saudi Arabia, Jumeirah Group’s Middle East plans for development include new UAE properties in Dubai, Al-Ain and Abu Dhabi, as well as projects in Kuwait and Jordan.
In Western Europe, projects in Germany and Spain are scheduled to be finished by the 2011 deadline and emerging markets are set to feature heavily in Jumeirah Group’s long-term growth strategy.
Jumeirah Group also expects Asia to become the next great tourist destination.
“We already have a property in Shanghai and we’re planning another in Guangzhou. We’re developing two [properties] in the Maldives. We’re also considering Indonesia and Thailand,” said Lawless.
According to its website, Jumeirah Group is also planning projects in Argentina, the US Virgin Island and Panama.
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