Group planning to build BD50m hotel in Dubai
MANAMA: Gulf Hotels Group is planning to open a five-star BD50 million hotel in Dubai within four years.
The company has bought a plot of land at the prestigious Business Bay on Dubai Creek in the heart of the northern emirate and hopes to begin construction some time next year.
“This is a big step for us and it is very exciting for the group,” said chief executive Aqeel Raees.
“The move follows the announcement at our annual meeting in March that we were considering buying a hotel or a plot of land.
“We have been pursuing this move for the last few months.
“The development will be on a prime site at Business Bay on the Creek in the heart of Dubai and will be a hotel with 240 rooms with a full range of restaurants, function halls and other top class facilities,” he said.
“This is the expansion of Gulf Hotels Group in the outside world and it will represent a 50 per cent increase in the size of our operations,” he added.
“We were here in Bahrain before anyone else and we have been very successful.
“Now we are going to a market where everyone has already arrived.
“That is a challenge but I see Dubai as a big step into the future for Gulf Hotels Group.
“If we are successful we will have established ourselves as a chain, albeit a small chain,” he said.
“But we will build on that brand and look to establish ourselves managing other hotel properties if the right ones are available,” he added.
“We are not restricting this search geographically,” he said.
We search for opportunities anywhere so that we can get a four- or five-star hotel to manage that suits our business.
“We are already talking to one or two companies,” he said.
He added they hoped to open the new facility within three to four years and were investing between BD45m and BD50m in the project.
“We have bought the land and are now in the planning stage and we will be appointing consultants and contractors over the next year and will then start work.”
Questioned about the slowdown in the market in Dubai in recent years, he said Dubai was now the place to be.
“Go to Dubai during Eid and try to find a room,” he added.
“Things are happening in Dubai. It continues to thrive and it has the infrastructure and it has the hotels.
“Do it right in Dubai and you can’t fail,” he said.
Gulf Hotels Group has bounced back strongly since the sector suffered a slowdown in the wake of unrest in 2011 .
Last year the group posted a net profit of $26.81m, the highest profit levels in the group’s history.