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Mon 21 Nov 2011 08:07 PM

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Buddha-Bar eyes locations for MidEast hotel growth

Senior company official says Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Lebanon, Egypt all on the radar

Buddha-Bar eyes locations for MidEast hotel growth
Buddha Bar, Dubai

Buddha-Bar Hotels, part of the Georges V Group, is looking for potential locations in the Middle East, it was reported on Monday.

Franck Fortet, the company’s vice president of development, said the group was looking at expanding its entertainment concepts and hotel brand in the region, following the success of Buddha Bar at Grosvenor House Dubai and Rush at The Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

“We have a pipeline that’s pretty heavy already,” said Fortet in comments published by Hotelier Middle East. “We’ve planned to do a hotel in Lebanon, a Buddha-Bar Hotel, we’re going to do a Buddha-Bar Hotel & Resort in Egypt.”

Only one Buddha-Bar hotel has opened so far, a 39-room boutique hotel in Prague, while Buddha-Bar Budapest Klotild Palace will become the second in the portfolio next February.

The company’s website lists Buddha-bar Abu Dhabi as opening in 2015, but Fortet said this is not confirmed.

“There were requests for a Buddha-Bar hotel in Abu Dhabi but we have to request whether it’s a viable option, we want to study the business of the hotels in Abu Dhabi.

“We’d rather do a hotel in Dubai first,” he added.

Fortet said the flagship hotel will open in Paris in September 2012, followed by Mexico City, which will offer a Buddha-Bar Hotel and Buddha-Bar apartments.

“We currently have plans and we are in final negotiations for New York, London, Tel Aviv, Antigua, Miami — we have a very big pipeline worldwide for hotels, restaurants, clubs, lounges,” he said.

The group has recently added Siddharta Lounge by Buddha Bar to its portfolio, an indoor-outdoor restaurant, bar, lounge and club concept created for the new Grosvenor House Tower Two.

“We created it specifically for Dubai and it’s very likely we may extend it elsewhere after we analyse its success and people’s reactions, which so far have been very good,” said Fortet.

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