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JUMEIRAH GROUP EYES DOUBLING OF INTERNATIONAL PORTFOLIO BY 2021

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Jumeirah Group, owner of Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab hotel, plans to double its portfolio outside the UAE over the next 18 months as it expands overseas, with Asia and Europe the primary focus, its chief executive said.

“Right now, we have 19 hotels outside the UAE and we’re growing to 27 or 28 quite rapidly over the next 18 months,” José Silva told The National in an exclusive interview. “Expansion is easy, but the right expansion is sometimes challenging and we’re happy to be reproducing what Jumeirah has done in Dubai internationally.”

The hospitality group, which is owned by the Ruler of Dubai’s investment vehicle Dubai Holding, owns a portfolio of 16 hotels and suites across the GCC, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as one in Shanghai and three in London – one of which is undergoing a $100 million refurbishment.

It will open two further hotels in China – in Guangzhou by the end of 2019 and Hangzhou next year, after opening in Nanjing last September – and one in Bali.

It also expects to sign deals this year to open in two western European cities, most likely in France and Italy, according to the chief executive, and intends to expand in southern Europe from 2020. Jumeirah Group has a hotel in Frankfurt and Mallorca, but Mr Silva said there is space for a second in the German business city and for the group’s first in mainland Spain and other European resort destinations.

“To do four substantial, quality projects in Asia in 18 months is quite an accomplishment and we’re looking forward to delivering our expansion in Europe,” Mr Silva said.

Having started with a strong local footprint, today more than 50 per cent of Jumeirah’s portfolio, including pipeline schemes, is international. However, Mr Silva said overseas expansion will not come at the expense of the group’s UAE presence and every five years it will start planning another major new project. Read More

Source: The National