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Tue 12 Mar 2019 05:23 PM

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Times are changing: JA Resorts & Hotels poised for transformation and growth in 2019

Brand View: Dubai's JA Resorts & Hotels has 8 distinct resorts and hotels across the UAE and Indian Ocean, all of which are being reinvigorated by a fresh and dynamic brand outlook

Times are changing: JA Resorts & Hotels poised for transformation and growth in 2019
JA Resorts & Hotels team (from back row, left to right) Rob Cunningham, Alaister Murray, Warrick Kennedy, Andy Smith, Dany Karam, Anthony Ross, Thomas Grundner and Robert Mikaelian.

It’s a year of rapid change for JA Resorts & Hotels, one of Dubai’s longest-serving homegrown hospitality brands.

Fresh blood in the leadership team is catapulting the company into the future with a new vision and mission, a reinvigoration of the brand, new properties, renovations and significant international expansion.

A glossy new lifestyle focused website showcases where JA Resorts & Hotels wants to be positioned in 2019 and figures show that Millennials are the top visitor group to the site, up 40% on previous years.

The group currently has 8 distinct resorts and hotels across the UAE and Indian Ocean, all of which are being reinvigorated by a fresh and dynamic brand outlook - one which focuses on experiential travel and a carpe diem attitude, promising ‘unique experiences and unforgettable memories.’

“Many people don’t realise just how much we’ve got going on," says CEO JA Resorts & Hotels, Anthony Ross. “JA Hatta Fort is Dubai’s Only Mountain Resort and a place where families can have the adventure trip of a lifetime with loads of activities on offer. In 2019, we have been booked out consistently every weekend and saw great pick up from companies rewarding their teams with corporate connection trips, a step up from traditional team building. 

"JA The Resort is also undergoing big change, a new hotel JA Lake View Hotel and a major renovation to the JA Beach Hotel. People in Dubai are starting to realise that we are more than just one of Dubai’s first hotels, we are now Dubai’s Largest Experience Resort - offering more than 40 unique activities to international guests and UAE residents looking for a resort style staycation.

"Our Indian Ocean resorts, JA Manafaru and JA Enchanted Island Resort are performing very well, our new collaboration with China’s top chef, Da Dong, is taking us places with the Asian market and JA Enchanted Island Resort has been completely booked through January and February with holiday makers scheduling experience-packed itineraries of our latest activities - night snorkeling, big game fishing and helicopter tours over the protected St Anne’s Marine Park.”

New vision

The new company vision is ‘to be recognised as the leading provider of unique getaway experiences in remarkable locations around the Indian Ocean and key global destinations’, a strong hint towards potential future expansion, with the mission promising that JA Resorts & Hotels will strive to ‘curate, curate and deliver services and experiences to thrill all generations.’

CEO of JA Resorts & Hotels, Anthony Ross lives and breathes the new brand, a free-spirited travel lover, hell bent on future-forward thinking, corporate social responsibility and driving growth and recognition for the company.

His energy is palpable, and he’s recruited a team of heavy hitters, including Dany Karam, former General Manager at BBDO, to spice up the brand and communications division. Karam’s aim is to bring the brand firmly into the future, focus on creativity and transform the brand marketing division into in an ‘in-house agency’ team, worlds apart from the traditional hotel marketing of old.

Thomas Grundner, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, is already known regionally for driving change, having spent time transforming the Sales & Marketing function for both Jumeirah, Meydan and Millennium before joining JA Resorts & Hotels to whip up the Sales & Marketing processes and re-focus on new commercial initiatives.

Even the Human Resources function is turning on its head, with Vice President of Human Resources Robert Mikaelian creating a new vibe in the company, a programme called ‘the JA Way’, whereby associates are told to ditch their name tags and embrace their individuality and upbeat attitude.

"Our guests are cool people – they don’t want to be served by robots or spoken to in a learned script. They want to connect and have authentic human interactions, with confident and happy individuals," he says.

The addition of Vice President of Food & Beverage, Rob Cunningham, the Australian national with hoards of Asia experience adds another layer of youthful energy to the Executive Committee team and a fresh focus on F&B concepts, which are set to include several collaborations with chefs of Michelin star acclaim, exciting new directions and revamps, ensuring JA Resorts & Hotels becomes a key culinary player on the scene.

“We want people to watch this space,” says CEO of JA Resorts & Hotels, Anthony Ross. “Times are changing, and we’ve got a lot to say and do this year. It’s an exciting time and with this team in place, I am looking forward to making a big splash."

JA Resorts & Hotels is gearing up for ATM in April, where a major press conference on the 28th will reveal the new F&B concepts being brought to the UAE and the massive expansion plans in new continents to the global media.

For PR Enquiries, Interview Bookings and ATM Appointments, please contact: Laoise.molloy@jaresorts.com

About JA Resorts & Hotels

A legacy UAE brand, JA Resorts & Hotels was born in 1981 and has a widely recognised reputation for excellence, in the management and operation of award-winning resorts and hotels. Taking its name from the original Jebel Ali (JA) Beach hotel, JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio now features 8 distinct properties across the UAE and Indian Ocean, each dedicated to curating unique experiences and creating unforgettable memories.

Tropical escapes include JA Manafaru, the idyllic luxury island resort in pristine, lagoon-ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives and JA Enchanted Island Resort, an ultra-luxurious hideaway of 10 exquisite villas on a private island, in the middle of the protected Saint Anne Marine Park.

Within the UAE, guests can choose from the five-star JA Ocean View Hotel, as well as the deluxe hotel apartments of JA Oasis Beach Tower, both located along ‘The Walk’ in Jumeirah Beach Residence.  Other attractive options include the acclaimed JA The Resort - Dubai’s largest experience resort, with 1 million square metres of thrilling activities and 3 unique hotels offering 795 suites and rooms between them– JA Beach Hotel, the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court and JA Lakeview Hotel, a stunning new Golf Course adjacent property due to open on September 1st, 2019. The recently renovated JA Hatta Fort Hotel completes the portfolio as Dubai’s only mountain resort, a secluded getaway amidst the stunning Hajar Mountains landscape.


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