By Andy Sambidge
Habtoor Hotels chief says 12% growth in revenues seen this year; expects even stronger growth next year
Dubai-based conglomerate Al Habtoor's hotel unit has said revenues rose 12 percent in the past year, with double digit increases also expected next year.
Henning Fries, group director, Habtoor Hotels, said the jump in overall revenue from existing properties was driven by both average rate and occupancy increases.
He said momentum is expected to build even further in 2014, adding: "We are confident about the growth Dubai will experience in 2014 and beyond... We will see double digit increases in more areas, as there continues to be strong demand from established and new markets."
Fries said: "Our properties outside the region continue to do well and will equally see further positive contributions to the profitability of the Group."
His comments came as he presented the 2014 budget for Habtoor Hotels to Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, chairman of the Group.
Al Habtoor said: "Dubai's economy is very strong, and since our successful bid to host Expo 2020 it will only get stronger. We have to be mobilised and ready to welcome the additional visitors.
"I want to ensure that we give each guest the quality of service they deserve. We want to ensure that once a guest has visited one of our properties, that they want to return."
Fries added that the hotels division is already making preparations for the group's mega development, called Al Habtoor City, which will combine ultra-luxury hotel living with five-star residential ambiance.
It will include three residential towers and three world-class hotel brands from Starwood - including the first-ever St Regis in Dubai, a flagship W and a new Westin, with more than 1,600 keys between them.
The hotel arm is expanding aggressively and is about to open the luxury Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, which will come into play in early 2014.
Al Habtoor called this project a "major milestone for the group".For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.