By Andy Sambidge
Sheikh Mohammed backs plans by luxury hotel group to add 4,300 rooms in 11 countries over next three years
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has endorsed an AED8bn ($2.17bn) expansion plan proposed by Jumeirah Group, the luxury hotel company.
The expansion in a total of 11 countries will see addition of 4,300 hotel rooms over the next three years, news agency WAM reported.
The endorsement came during the visit of Sheikh Mohammed, also Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, to the Dubai Holding office, where he reviewed the development plans of Dubai-based Jumeirah until 2017.
He was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Emirates Group, WAM said.
Sheikh Mohammed urged the group to focus on the GCC, Chinese and some developed Asian markets.
It quoted Sheikh Mohammed as saying: "Our national companies in sectors of aviation, hospitality, ports, property development and others tell the UAE's success story to peoples worldwide. They are our envoys in all countries in which we invest.
"These companies bear greater responsibility compared to the government when it comes to representation of our national economy and boosting confidence in UAE investments in all sectors."
He added that UAE foreign investments will grow rapidly in the next years, as the investment strategy will focus on three basic themes - balance, diversification and secure geographical distribution between east and west.
A member of Dubai Holding, Jumeirah Group last week announced results for 2013, including an increase in consolidated room revenues of 8 percent and an increase in total revenues under management of 11 percent.
Jumeirah Group operates 22 hotels in 11 countries, including seven properties in Dubai.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.