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Thu 3 May 2007 10:11 AM

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Dry hotel chain plants new property

New property announcement and ambitious three-year plan signals Flora Group Hotel's venture into Dubai's burgeoning MICE sector.

Flora Group Hotels has joined the strong contingent of chains launching residential-style properties in Dubai at this year's Arabian Travel Market.

The group, a division of Pearl Investments, launched Flora Creek, its sixth property in Dubai, and announced plans to open a further four properties by 2010. The new addition to its portfolio is located in the Port Saeed area and is predicted to open at the end of this year.

"This marks the dynamic beginning of the Group's strategic expansion plan with an investment of AED 250 million," said VA Hassan, CEO, Flora Group Hotels & Hotel Apartments.

The move will also witness a shift in the group's longstanding focus from family-oriented concepts to the meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) sector. The group has traditionally targeted local guests with its alcohol-free concept.

The property will be geared towards corporate guests in the process of relocation and offers WIFI connection, rooftop conference areas and a banqueting facility, with views of Dubai Creek.

According to Hassan, the property will respond to the strong demand for city accommodation coupled with traditional Arabian hospitality.

"Dubai continues to present increased opportunities for continued investment in the hospitality industry, with average occupancy rates of 74% over the last five years. With Flora Group's above-market average occupancy rates of between 75% and 80%, it is our aim to aggressively expand our portfolio over the next three years," Hassan added.

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