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Fri 5 Oct 2012 01:27 PM

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Amlak plans to open hotels across GCC region

Amlak Hotels reveals five-year expansion plan; operates alcohol free Belle Vue brand

Amlak plans to open hotels across GCC region

Amlak Hotels & Tourism Investment Company has plans to open a hotel in every GCC country over the next five years, with multiple properties already signed in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Oman.

The Jordan-based hospitality firm established in 2000 already operates hotels in Dubai and Amman under its dry Belle Vue brand, with plans to enter Saudi Arabia this year.

“We’re launching two hotels in Saudi Arabia in Dammam. One of them is Belle Vue Inn which will be opened in one and a half months and is three stars. The other one will be opened hopefully in February 2013 and the name of it is Grand Belle Vue Al Shraa. This is five-stars," Amlak Hotels & Tourism Investment Company CEO Naji Alia told Hotelier Middle East.

The operator also has a five-star ‘Grand Belle Vue’ hotel under construction in Riyadh, on Olaya Street, which is expected to open within 18 months and is said to be eyeing an opportunity in Jeddah.

“There’s another hotel under construction in Muscat, Oman. It will also be ready in one and a half years, we’ve just started the drawings, licensing and everything. We’re targeting for it to be a four- or five-star hotel,” Alia revealed.

In Dubai, the company already has a hotel signed in Jebel Ali Downtown and hotel apartments in Dubai Marina which were put on hold during the financial crisis, but Alia said he is in discussions with the respective developers to restart both projects.

“In the Gulf area, we’re also targeting Bahrain and Kuwait,” he added.

“I did surveys in Kuwait, I think we have a very nice opportunity but still we didn’t sign an agreement with any owners there. I hope we’ll finalise one project which is all ready and furnished and located in Kuwait's Salmiya area on the sea.”

A second hotel in Jordan and entry into Qatar is also on Amlak’s agenda: “If we get one hotel in each country we’re moving in the right direction according to our plans,” said Alia, "so in five years I hope we will achieve 10 hotels".

The firm is also about to launch a new club floor at its existing Amman property.

The Belle Vue brand includes three tiers: three-star Belle Vue Inn, four-star Belle Vue Hotels and five-star Grand Belle Vue, and specialises in hotels that do not serve alcohol and offer guests high levels of privacy. But Alia said the brand is not only targeted at GCC travellers.

“We’re targeting all the segments. Last month according to our statistics, number one [guest markets] for Jordan and Dubai were America and China. There were so many corporate agencies, government embassies, but we’re providing something special for the families besides meeting the businessman’s requirements,” he said.

"We’re creating our own summit in this business of dry hotels,” Alia added.

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