Dubai luxury hotel operator Jumeirah has Saudi Arabia in its sights
Saudi Arabia's booming hospitality market is a big draw for luxury hoteliers. (Facebook)
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Dubai-based luxury hotel operator Jumeirah has signed a memorandum of understanding with investment firm Shuaa Capital Saudi Arabia to jointly explore opportunities in the kingdom.
The two companies will seek to develop hospitality projects operated under the Jumeirah brand, a statement said.
President and group chief executive officer of Jumeirah Gerald Lawless said: “Saudi Arabia is of prime importance to the Jumeirah Group. We now seek expansion for our hotels, both Jumeirah and our new lifestyle hospitality brand Venu, in Saudi Arabia and this MoU further enables us to explore opportunities in the kingdom.”
Jumeirah, part of state-owned Dubai Holding, has been planning to enter the Saudi market for some years now.
“Our big concentration for expansion really is in this region, the Middle East, and we are really keen to get into Saudi Arabia,” he told Gulf Business last year.
The group currently operates 23 hotels across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bodrum, Istanbul, Kuwait, London, Maldives, Rome, Shanghai, Baku and Mallorca. Its portfolio includes nearly 6,000 luxury rooms, suites and residences along with restaurants, spas and related businesses.
It has a further 25 Jumeirah and Venu properties in the development pipeline.
Looking ahead, Jumeirah has ambitious expansion plans and targets to operate up to 100 hotels worldwide by 2020, the statement added.
Saudi Arabia, as the biggest market in the Gulf region, is focussing on developing its tourism sector. This in turn has led to a booming hospitality market.
Shuaa Capital Saudi Arabia was set up in 2008 to capitalise on the growing hospitality sector in the kingdom via the acquisition and development of real estate.
The company has been involved in the development of the SAR 535m Shariah-compliant Saudi Hospitality Fund I, under which three hotel projects – managed by Rotana – were developed in the kingdom.
By Aarti Nagraj
© Motivate Publishing. All rights reserved.
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