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Gerald Lawless, the president and chief executive of Jumeirah Group, says 2012 was a very good year for the company. Antonie Robertson / The National
Gerald Lawless, the president and chief executive of Jumeirah Group, says 2012 was a very good year for the company. Antonie Robertson / The National

More visitors and higher revenue for Jumeirah Group properties

The Jumeirah Group, the UAE-based hospitality company, said 2012 was a "good year" and that 2013 was off to a "strong" start.

The Jumeirah Group, the UAE-based hospitality company, said 2012 was a "good year" and that 2013 was off to a "strong" start.

Globally, occupancy at its hotels rose 9 per cent in the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier. Average daily rates also rose 9 per cent and revenue per available room rose 22 per cent. The figures are based on hotels open for at least 18 months.

"The full year of 2012 and the first four months of 2013 have been a tremendous success for Jumeirah," said the group's president and chief executive, Gerald Lawless.

"The Dubai hotels have truly benefited from the continuing attraction of Dubai as a prime holiday and business destination. Our hotel in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, has established itself as one of the top must-visit locations in the capital."

Mr Lawless was speaking yesterday at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai.

The top country for visitors to Jumeirah's properties in the UAE continued to be Russia, with a 19 per cent increase of travellers in the year to date compared with the same period a year ago. The UK remained the number two country, up 16.2 per cent, followed by the GCC countries combined (14.1 per cent), Germany (7.4 per cent) and the United States (3.5 per cent).

Mr Lawless added that the hotels in the UAE were also experiencing a surge in visitors from Australia thanks to the tie-up between Emirates and Qantas airlines.

"Australian business in Dubai has experienced a huge growth," he said.

The group in November was also given approval to construct a fourth hotel within the Madinat Jumeirah resort in Dubai in addition to the existing properties: Mina A' Salam, Al Qasr and Dar Al Masyaf. Work on the 430-room property will start this summer and is expected to be finished by the end of 2015. This will bring the company's number of hotels in the UAE to 10.

Mr Lawless said that he would consider opportunities in Fujairah, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah.

"This is a UAE brand," he said. "There is every reason to be over-represented here [compared to other brands]."

Elsewhere, expansion continues apace with 12 hotels under construction and 18 signed agreements in the pipeline.

Jumeirah's new hotel in Kuwait, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, is scheduled to open tomorrow. Other hotels under construction include properties in China, India and Jordan.



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