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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

Venu hotel brand revived by Jumeirah after four years on hold

The first Venu hotel will be on Dubai's Bluewaters Island which is being built offshore from JBR.
The Meraas Holding Bluewaters islands project which includes the world's biggest ferris wheel on display at Cityscape 2013.  Sarah Dea / The National
The Meraas Holding Bluewaters islands project which includes the world's biggest ferris wheel on display at Cityscape 2013. Sarah Dea / The National

Unveiled four years ago and scrapped a year later, the Venu hotel brand is alive again.

Jumeirah Group yesterday said it is reviving the brand as Dubai’s hospitality market expands, with an eye on the build-up to Expo 2020.

The company declined to specify a hotel market category for Venu, but said it would be classified as a “contemporary lifestyle” brand.

Jumeirah Group is in talks with the developer Meraas under which Meraas would build, and Jumeirah would operate, the first Venu hotel on Bluewaters Island. The island is being built offshore from Jumeirah Beach Residence.

The island is expected to host retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones with a 210-metre Ferris wheel. The developer is looking to raise US$4 billion from banks to develop its mega real estate projects, according to a report from Reuters last week.

Nicholas Clayton, the chief executive for group operations at Jumeirah Group, said the company is also going ahead with plans to expand the brand across the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

“The original roll-out of Venu was put on hold in 2010 as part of a strategic review of business at a time when the world economy was in a different state,” said Piers Schreiber, a spokesman for Jumeirah Group.

“Today the world economy is recovering, the macroeconomic indicators are largely positive, business and consumer confidence in key markets have returned and Jumeirah Group is ready for a second brand.”

When it was first announced in 2010, Venu was supposed to debut later that same year. At the time, Jumeirah Group was also looking at North Africa, eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific as destinations for the brand.

In June that year, it signed a deal with Shanghai Zendai Group to develop a 400-room Venu Himalayas Hotel Shanghai, including 70 luxury suites, close to Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

A year later, the Jumeirah senior executive Gerald Lawless said at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference that the company was parting with the Venu brand in view of the global economic crisis. He said that the brand would be revisited in a couple of years.

Jumeirah Group is also expanding its core brand.

During the first half this year, the group has signed deals to operate a luxury resort in Mauritius expected in 2018, and to manage 169 luxury serviced residences and 207 hotel rooms at the Jumeirah Guangzhou Hotel.

Jumeirah Group is also looking to open properties in Mecca, Madina, Riyadh, Jeddah and Khobar besides Qatar and Bahrain.

The company is a unit of Dubai Holding.

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