International hospitality management company Jumeirah Group will diversify its offering by launching a new hotel brand, a senior executive said yesterday. “We might introduce another brand level of Jumeirah hotels,” Gerald Lawless (pictured above), Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group, told Emirates Business in an interview.
Asked which end of the market segment the new brand will target, Lawless said: “It will be of the five-star level. I would say that Jumeirah will always stay at the luxury end of the market. It will certainly have nothing to do anything with less than a five-star brand.”
Without divulging specifics, Lawless said: “We will talk about it when we are ready to introduce the brand. It is too premature to say anything more because we have not done it yet.
“We are an international luxury hotel group. And we certainly have ambitions to continue to develop opportunities both within and outside the region,” he added when asked where the brand would be launched.
Jumeirah Group has ambitious expansion plans to grow its portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts worldwide from the current level of 11 properties to 60 by 2011, Lawless said. Projects are being developed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Aqaba, Doha, Phuket, Shanghai, Bermuda and London.
“Most of these properties will be up and running in approximately the next two-and-a-half years. For instance, between 2009 and 2010, we will have about 10 more properties.
“On average, we will launch one property every month. So by the end of 2011, the Jumeirah Group will have up to 60 hotels worldwide, either in operation or under construction,” Lawless said.
Markets that Jumeirah is looking at include Indonesia, Thailand, India, Bermuda, the United Kingdom and the Middle East, he said.
The group will have a major presence in China as it plans to take over and manage 10 hotels under the Jumeirah banner.
Han Tang Jumeirah Shanghai, which will open in August, is the first thrust of the group’s expansion into the country. Shanghai Li Xing Hotel appointed Jumeirah Group to manage the property, which is a joint venture between Shanghai Hotel Investments and Shui On Private Group.
Jumeirah Group entered the North American market with the acquisition and subsequent re-branding of Jumeirah Essex House in New York.
In the UK, the group manages the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London’s Belgravia. It has also signed contracts for hotels in Mallorca on the Spanish coast, Jumeirah at Beetham Tower in London, Jumeirah SouthLands Resort in Bermuda and Jumeirah Phuket Private Island resort in Thailand.
In its home town, Dubai, the luxury chain’s properties include Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Beach Club Resort and Spa, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.
Jumeirah ready to launch new hotel brand