Category Archives: Hotels

Dubai-based Action Hotels’ 4th property to open in Australia in 2018

Novotel Melbourne South Wharf JPG

Action Hotels, developer and asset manager of branded three- and four-star hotels in the Middle East and Australia, has selected Novotel as the brand partner for its new hotel, Novotel Melbourne South Wharf located at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The property marks Action Hotel’s fourth hotel in Australia and the third in Melbourne. It is pegged to open Q1 2018 with 347 rooms, 30 more rooms than originally announced, making it the second largest hotel in Action’s portfolio. Action’s total operating rooms and development pipeline now stands as 3,214 rooms. Action has built a long-term strategic relationship with AccorHotels and the Novotel Melbourne South Wharf is the 13th hotel together – nine are operating – and it is the second Novotel-branded hotel for Action. Novotel is one of AccorHotels’ midscale brands, comprising 480 hotels and resorts across 59 countries. Sheikh Mubarak A. M. Al Sabah, Founder and Chairman of Action Hotels said he is delighted to be partnering with AccorHotels once again. “The Novotel Melbourne South Wharf, which is ideally located to service the largest convention centre in the Southern hemisphere. We are very excited about this addition to our Australian portfolio and the potential of this hotel which will offer premium midscale accommodation with best-in-class customer service and quality in a highly sought-after business and leisure destination,” he said.

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Second Mandarin Oriental in Dubai by 2020

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced that it will manage a second luxury hotel and branded residences in Dubai which is targeted to open in late 2020. The hotel, located in downtown Dubai, will complement Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach, Dubai, the group’s previously announced urban resort which is currently under construction on the beachfront and due to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. Both hotels are owned and developed by wasl Asset Management Group. The hotel will be the anchor of a 63-storey, mixed-use building, to be known as wasl Tower, located on Sheikh Zayed Road. The property will have direct access to the area’s business and leisure attractions, including Dubai Opera, Burj Park and Dubai Mall. The downtown Mandarin Oriental hotel will feature 257 spacious and contemporary guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments, which will be located on floors 16 to 38 of the tower, providing outstanding views over downtown Dubai and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The accommodation will be designed to reflect local culture, with features inspired by Mandarin Oriental’s Asian heritage. The Group will also manage 144 Residences at Mandarin Oriental, located on the tower’s upper floors, which will provide some of the most luxurious private homes in the city. The Residences will have their own private access, with dedicated facilities including a Resident’s Lounge, while also benefiting from Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and direct access to the hotel.

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Gloria Hotels launches online check-in


Gloria Hotel Dubai has introduced online check-in facilities and several other tablet delivered services. Guests at Gloria hotels can now check in online prior to the arrival via the links they receive in the booking confirmation email and it will also be available in the Gloria Mobile App which will be launched this month (May). The guests can arrive at the hotel and simply collect their room key from a priority check in desk exclusively reserved for online check- ins similar to that in airlines. The new mobile App to be launched have used technology to push the business boundaries to ensure innovation and efficiency across the hotel and meeting the evolving needs of the guests.  This will further enable the guests the ability to make choices and instantly book available rooms at great prices to ease the booking process and further boost reservations. Area Manager Freddy Farid stated, “we are hoping to showcase Gloria hotels and Resorts in a multitude of different ways and lead the different markets to experience comfort living – a Gloria concept of stay in all properties. The use of digital marketing to expand our brand communication and it has become an effective tool over time. Today’s travellers are constantly connected but they have time constraints. They want information instantly and they value services that save time, we have introduced a number of ways that allow our guests to use smart devices to speed up the decision making and booking process as well as cutting down on administrative tasks related to registration and payments thus ensuring their overall experience.”  

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First Central Hotel Suites gets Duetto’s GameChanger

Duetto First Central (640x552)

Duetto, a hotel optimization technology provider, announced that it will implement its cloud-based Revenue Strategy application, GameChanger, and Revenue Intelligence solution, ScoreBoard, for First Central Hotel Suites, located in the heart of Dubai. Under the agreement, Duetto will provide the property with unprecedented market intelligence, the benefits of Open Pricing, and the ability to fully optimise revenue and easily analyse property performance. The partnership is Duetto’s first in the vibrant Dubai hospitality market and in the Middle East. CEO Patrick Bosworth of Duetto said, “We are very happy to announce this partnership with First Central Hotel Suites. Our GameChanger application will help First Central scale quickly by implementing a Revenue Strategy with optimal pricing and distribution management. ScoreBoard adds the ability to understand property performance and make more efficient operational decisions. We are excited to partner with First Central Hotel Suites, as we continue our expansion in key markets around the world.” By adopting Open Pricing, the core element of Duetto’s GameChanger application, the property will now be able to yield rates more rapidly and with greater flexibility, drawing on web shopping regrets and denials data to better measure price sensitivity and forecast unconstrained demand. Duetto’s recent integration with the Protel Air PMS will help First Central maximize its use of GameChanger, ScoreBoard and the hotel’s full tech stack. Ammar Kanaan, Group General Manager for Central Hotels, and Wael El Behi, First Central Hotel Suites’ general manager, added: “We are pleased to be working with Duetto, which brings an altogether new and innovative approach to Revenue Strategy. We look forward to a great working relationship in the years ahead.”

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Region’s 1st cinema-themed hotel concept in Deira

Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira_Rendering

Majid Al Futtaim, the retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, together with Marriott International announced plans to launch the region’s first cinema-themed concept at Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira. The concept will feature a unique offering of cinematic themed rooms in addition to an ‘Outdoor’ VOX Cinema developed in collaboration with Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, owner of the VOX Cinemas brand in the Middle East. According to the latest reports from STR Global, hotel occupancy rates in Dubai averaged 86.3% in the first two months of 2017, with the mid-market segment reporting a 7.2 per cent year-over-year growth in room uptake. The latest offering brings together the combined synergy of Majid Al Futtaim and Marriott International to extend best in class amenities, expedited service offerings and innovative leisure and entertainment options to create unique lifestyle experience for millennial audiences and caters to the surging demand for mid-market hospitality offerings in the city The Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira will feature a cinematic themed floor of 25 standard rooms and four suite rooms designed to create an integrated lifestyle offering through the combination of cutting edge technology, modern style and immersive guest experience. In a first for the region, rooms at the Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira will entail a large collection of movies, TV screens, projectors and enhanced sound systems, so guests can indulge in a world cinema experience. In addition, the hotel will feature four themed suites inspired by blockbuster movie themes from Comic superheroes to super spies, Bollywood and more. The hotel will house a state-of-the-art ‘Outdoor’ VOX Cinema concept – an all-season cinema and multifunctional event space to meet the growing demand …

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UAE hospitality sector to top $10 billion by 2020


Connected visitor technology will drive the UAE’s hospitality market to top $10 billion by 2020, meeting the needs of millions of Expo 2020 Dubai visitors, experts announced on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market. With 25 million visitors set to attend Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE’s hospitality sector is on a building boom. Dubai aims to double the number of hotel and serviced apartments leading to revenue of $10 billion, according to a recent report by Alpen Capital. As hoteliers jostle for position, they are aiming to stand out from their competitors through disruptive technologies to save time and money, and meet the preferences of Millennials. “Smart technology could revolutionise the visitor experience, for the millions of visitors set to attend Expo 2020 Dubai, offering a hassle-free end-to-end experience from the plane, to easy hotel check-in, to autonomous vehicles taking them to the exhibition pavilion,” said Savitha Bhaskar, COO at smart hospitality consultancy Condo Protego. The UAE’s hospitality sector is also rapidly adopting digital solutions to streamline hospitality administrative processes and enrich the guest experience, saving time and money. Increasingly, hotels are offering remote check-in, card-free room access, and Big Data analytics to monitor customer preferences both in-room and from partners. “For UAE hoteliers to manage guest data in real-time, they need high-availability, secure, and scalable data storage and management solutions. Condo Protego has seen strong success in enabling the UAE’s leading hospitality and leisure organizations to undergo digital transformation,” added Bhaskar. In the UAE, Condo Protego is seeing strong demand for solutions such as Dell EMC converged infrastructure, Isilon network-attached storage, XtremIO all-flash storage, and VERITAS information management and data protection solutions.

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Swissôtel enters Bosnian market with 218-room hotel in Sarajevo

Swissotel Sarajevo JPG

Swissôtel, part of AccorHotels, announced that it has entered into a franchise agreement with Al Shiddi International for development of a new 218-room urban resort scheduled to open in early 2018. Situated next to Bosnian Parliament, within the expansive mixed use Sarajevo City Center project, consisting of shopping mall and office tower with 30,000 daily visitors, Swissôtel Sarajevo will enjoy a commanding downtown commercial and residential location, as a new landmark for Sarajevo, close to top attractions and Sarajevo International Airport. The project is being developed and operated by Al Shiddi International from Riyadh, one of the prominent investment companies in Saudi Arabia with an extensive portfolio of investments locally and globally featuring financial services, real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and retail. Interiors are designed by Scott Brownrigg Associates, a leading UK hotel design firm with extensive experience in high end hotel development across Europe, hotel will offer scenic all-glass views of the downtown and mountains, stunning guestrooms featuring spacious bedrooms. Completing the guest experience will be a private executive club, three exquisite dining outlets, the brand’s signature Pürovel Spa & Sport, and 500 square meters (5,300 square feet) of indoor meeting space with function areas.

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AHIC to unveil global hospitality trends in ME


Ahead of next week’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2017 (AHIC), being held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from April 25 to 27, its speakers have unveiled insights into the global trends and market sentiment that are currently making an impact on the hospitality industry across the Middle East. Chairman of Bench Events and Co-founder of AHIC, Jonathan Worsley, said: “AHIC is the premium networking and knowledge platform for the hospitality investment community in the Middle East and beyond. As such, we are committed to providing our delegates with the very latest market intelligence and are thrilled to be unveiling new reports at AHIC 2017, including Global Megatrends from PwC and the AHIC BLP Market Sentiment Survey Review in partnership with Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BLP).” On April 26, PwC Middle East’s Partner and Deals Real Estate Leader Dr. Martin Berlin, will present, for the first time, the new PwC Report Global Megatrends and their impact on Hospitality in the Middle East. Presented by Gurdish Bassi, Economist, GRMC Advisory Consulting, this report will provide a unique insight into Dubai tourist spend patterns, activities and motives – and analyse how the tourist profile will evolve by 2021. In a sneak preview of the Dubai Tourist Profiling Report, GRMC Advisory Consulting forecasts a “conspicuous change” in the distribution of tourists coming to Dubai. Bassi explained: “Multiple primary research campaigns with hotel guests across Dubai revealed that 34 per cent of Asian visitors were first-time overseas travellers – this statistic increases to 62 per cent when only two-star and three-star hotels are considered. As affluence levels in Tier-II and III cities of Asian economies rise, an increasing number of first-time overseas travellers will seek …

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Nakheel breaks ground on AED176 million hotel at Dragon City

Nakheel_Dragon City

Dubai developer Nakheel broke ground on a new, AED176 million hotel at Dragon City. The Premier Inn is Nakheel’s second hotel at Dragon City. The ground-breaking ceremony, led by Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah, comes less than two weeks after the company awarded a contract worth AED136 million to Al Ghurair Contracting and Engineering Works to build the 304-room hotel. Nakheel’s first hotel, a 251-room ibis Styles hotel, opened in February 2016. Set for delivery in 2019, Premier Inn Dragon City is the latest project in Nakheel’s AED5 billion hospitality expansion. Last week, the company confirmed new hotels at Jumeirah Village Circle and Discovery Gardens, bringing its number of hospitality projects to 18. Lootah said: “Today marks another milestone in our hospitality expansion, and highlights our commitment to delivering new hotels across Dubai in line with the Government of Dubai’s 2021 vision. I am delighted to declare that work is officially under way at Premier Inn Dragon City, and to further reinforce our already highly-successful relationship with Whitbread through this latest partnership.” Premier Inn Dragon City is part of a huge new master plan that is transforming the area into a giant retail, residential and recreational complex of more than 11 million square feet.With a built-up area of 178,000 sq ft across eight floors, the hotel will have a restaurant, Costa coffee shop and gym. Nakheel’s hospitality expansion is bringing 18 new hotels and serviced apartment complexes, with over 5,800 rooms between them, to Dubai.

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Nakheel opens retail pavilion at Jumeirah Islands

Nakheel image

Jumeirah Islands Pavilion was inaugurated by Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah, is the fifth community retail centre in Nakheel Malls’ growing collection of neighbourhood shopping and dining hubs across Dubai. It will serve 8,000 residents at Jumeirah Islands and provide a new destination for people living and working nearby.  Set among lush gardens and greenery, the Pavilion is flanked by a 1.1 km waterside jogging track. The anchor outlet, Choithrams, is complemented by a range of cafes and restaurants including Oregano, Nando’s and The Hamptons. There’s also a Round 10 Boxing Club, medical clinic, beauty salon, barber’s shop, pharmacy, and dry cleaners. Delivery of the Pavilion – which has 30,000 sq ft of shop space – comes as handover of homes at the premium residential community is in full swing. So far, 25 properties have been handed over, with the remaining investors due to collect their keys shortly. The Townhouses and Pavilion are located on the north-western side of Jumeirah Islands, one of Nakheel’s most mature residential communities and among the most sought-after in Dubai. Comprising 46 islands, known as ‘clusters’, Jumeirah Islands has 767 luxury villas and mansions, as well as mosques, nurseries and the Jumeirah Islands Club featuring restaurants, a pool and fitness centre. Complementing the villas are 246 luxury duplex apartments at Jumeirah Heights. The villas, apartments and townhomes that make up Jumeirah Islands are home to more than 8,000 people. Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “Today marks the delivery of Pavilion number five in our growing collection of community centres, which are key to our AED16 billion retail expansion.With its picturesque setting and spacious grounds, this new facility blends perfectly with Jumeirah Islands’ overall look …

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