Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels is set to manage its first international property with the launch of the Enchanted Island Resort in the Seychelles.
The five-star property will open on December 20, with a 10-villa beach resort set in five acres of the National Marine Park, an environmentally protected island in the Indian Ocean.
Middle East tourist visits to the archipelago in the Indian Ocean grew about 10 per cent last year; the UAE placed fifth on a list of the Seychelles’ top tourism markets, according to the African country’s National Bureau of Statistics.
The Dubai-based hospitality operator hopes to capitalise on Etihad Airways’ recent US$65 million investment in Air Seychelles.
On its part, the Seychelles Tourism Board wants to exploit Etihad’s global network and the fast-growing Chinese market in particular.
The Seychelles, which has 115 islands, has become increasingly popular with UAE tourists.
The new resort marks Jebel Ali Resorts’ first foray abroad. It currently operates the Hatta Fort Hotel, the Oasis Beach Tower and the sole four-star beach offering in Dubai, the Ocean View Hotel.
The group is looking to expand farther afield.
“We are a resort company,” said Anabela Radosevic, the group’s director of sales and marketing. “So we are looking elsewhere in the Indian Ocean. Nothing is signed as yet but we hope to have good news soon.”