Bahrain is bringing new business concept to UAE's bayside
Bahrain-based Gulf Hotels Group will invest BD50 million ($132 million) towards the development of the five-star 'Gulf Hotel Business Bay' in Dubai, the company’s chairman said.
Farouk Almoayyed was speaking to the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, on the sidelines of the company's annual general meeting.
"This waterfront property, located 1.5km from Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, is now in design stage and is expected to open mid-2017," he said.
The hotel will feature 230 rooms, three fine-dining restaurants, a variety of function halls and meeting facilities, a spa and fitness centre and other top-class facilities including substantial car parking.
He added that the group was also in discussion with a group of investors to purchase another plot of land in the new Shaikh Mohamed bin Rashid City in Dubai for the development of another five-star hotel in the area.
The group chief executive and newly-inducted board member Aqeel Raees said an investment of BD20 million ($53 million) was being made in major projects within the kingdom, including refurbishment of the flagship Gulf Hotel and addition of amenities.
A new commercial laundry has commenced trading as Gulf Hotel Laundry Services, and is expected to make a big impact in the laundry market.
Raees said a new 108-seat Indian restaurant was under development within the Gulf Hotel and expected to open in the second half of this year.
Refurbishment of the Gulf Hotel's Awal Ballroom and the La Pergola Restaurant would also take place during this summer, he said.
Designs are also being drafted to create a new lounge located off the hotel's Al Andalus Lounge, which will start later in the year.
Refurbishment of the South Wing building and the Gulf Executive Residence is scheduled to commence in July and finish by the end of the year.
In addition, the soft refurbishment of the Tower Block rooms will also be undertaken in the second half.
According to Raees, the development of the Gulf Residence Amwaj in conjunction with Lona Real Estate, is nearing completion and the 173 unit, four-star apartment-hotel is expected to open later this year.
The construction of a new 3,100 sq m spa was also underway with completion scheduled for mid-2015.
The group is also currently developing a 78 unit service apartment facility in Juffair, with construction expected to commence in the second half. The project is likely to take 18 months to complete.
Earlier, addressing the shareholders, Mr Almoayyed said the group's net profit of BD10.460m for last year was 3.50pc higher than 2012 level and surpassed expectations.
The group achieved a total gross operating revenue of BD31.94 million, 1.80 per cent lower than BD32.526 million earlier. Earnings per share were 63 fils compared to 61 fils earlier.
Based on the results, a dividend payout of 40 per cent or 40 fils per share, totalling BD6.6 million was approved by shareholders.
Almoayyed said difficult conditions since the 2011 unrest have continued and the number of international travellers and conferences continue to be lower than in 2010, greatly affecting the hospitality sector, which saw marginal growth last year.
However, strong results from the retail sector helped to bolster performance and various investments have also yielded strong returns.
It was announced that Sahar Ataei has stepped down as director whereas, Gulf Air acting chief executive Maher Al Musallam and Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company vice-president for corporate development and communications Damien Balmet have joined the board effective February this year as nominees of Gulf Air.