Dusit International to launch first luxury brand in India

3 May 2011

Dusit International is adding a new brand under its portfolio called Dusit Devarana, as part of the chain's joint venture with Bird Hospitality Services. The first property under the brand is set to be unveiled in Gurgaon, India next year and it will mark Dusit's entry to the subcontinent.

“This will be our first luxury lifestyle brand focused on bringing guests a holistic sense of spiritual well-being and relaxation,” said Simon Burgess, global director of sales, Dusit International, adding that the hotel group will be unveiling at least three more properties in the next five to 10 years on the subcontinent.

The introduction of the hotel group's first luxury brand is only part of a plan to further raise Dusit's global profile with a string of new hotel openings.

In the pipeline is the 183-room Dusit Thani Sanya located on Xiangshui Bay, which will consist of 22 villas, one presidential suite, a gym, the Devarana Spa and meeting facilities fit to compete within the lucrative business events industry on the island. The Sanya property is set to open next year.

Burgess noted: “We would like to have properties in China because there’s no better way to attract the market than actually having a property in that market. The ideal targets would be the main cities – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou – but if an opportunity arises now in a secondary city, we will jump on it.”

As part of its strategy to attract the affluent Mainland travellers, Dusit International launched its Chinese-language website last March and it has set up a development office in n Hong Kong to look for further opportunities of expansion in China.

Outside Asia-Pacific, Dusit International also has openings lined up in the Middle East and talks of expansion in Europe and the US.

The Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi is poised to open towards the end of this year, opposite the Al Jazira Sports Club/Stadium. The mixed-use complex will consist of 401 hotel rooms and 131 apartments units ranging from studio to one-bedroom flats. For the business traveller, the property consists of a 780sqm ballroom, two boardrooms, six meeting rooms and a business centre.

Other amenities include a gym, swimming pool, the signature Devarana Spa and a Kid’s club.

“Even though we are an Asian brand and are primarily focused on the Asian market, we have things happening in Europe and the US.” Though the fine details of these projects have not been solidified, Burgess claims the group is jumping on opportunities that arise anywhere to really expand the group’s presence on an international scale.

Meanwhile, the group is also focused on redesigning its loyalty scheme. Currently, Dusit International has the Dusit Wine and Dine programme, which is primarily focused on F&B offers. It is currently looking into evolving the programme into a conventional loyalty scheme. “We’d like to develop this but the real development will only take place when we reach a critical mass of properties and there when there will be more inter-regional travel between our properties,” said Burgess.

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Alisha Haridasani

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