The Jumeirah Group of luxury five-star hotels, best known for the Jumeirah Beach and Burj Al Arab in Dubai, is planning to launch a new hotel brand in 2008.
Speaking exclusively with Business Traveller, Apo Demirtas, chief sales and marketing officer of Jumeirah, said that the aim of the new brand would be to “appeal to a different kind of traveller, with a different demographic”.
While refusing to be drawn on the name of the new brand, Demirtas confirmed that the company is actively considering the positioning of the new chain, which is likely to be a four-star plus level.
This year the Jumeirah Group has also announced plans for Jumeirah Living, a long-stay category of residences and serviced apartments with the first opening in April 2008 in Dubai’s financial district.
Also opening are Jumeirah-branded restaurants which have already seen licence agreements signed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and India, and include the Noodle House for Asian cuisine, Sana Bonta Italian restaurants and Bytes “grab and go” delis.
Nevertheless, the news that Jumeirah is planning a new hotel brand is confirmation of its aim to become “the best luxury hotel operator worldwide”. Demirtas confirmed that while the Jumeirah brand is well known in the Middle East, achieving a 95 per cent recognition, in the United States this figure was only 4 per cent.
“Clearly that’s where the opportunity is for us, but with new properties opening in Asia, we will be looking to welcome travellers around the world.”
Jumeirah has stated that it aims to open over 50 properties by 2011, including hotels in Bermuda, Phuket, Mallorca, and Shanghai. Demirtas said the focus was on growing organically, but that takeovers of existing properties were certainly an option in order to gain access to gateway cities, particularly in the US.
“Even with 55 or 60 properties we will be spread thinly for that ambition, but we are committed to achieving our aim,” said Gerald Lawless, executive chairman of Jumeirah.
For more information visit jumeirah.com.
Report by Tom Otley