By Andy Sambidge
Hotel group chief says Expo 2020 win will enhance Dubai as a destination for tourists and businesses alike
Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hotel operator, has announced that it has seen "strong occupancy" during the first quarter of 2014, building on what it has called a "stellar year" in 2013.
Gerald Lawless, president and CEO, also said winning the right to host the World Expo in 2020 will further enhance Dubai as a destination for tourists and businesses alike.
"2013 was a stellar year for Jumeirah Group... We expect this [Expo] to further enhance the energy that is going into the growth of Dubai as not only a destination for travellers, but also as a home for businesses, entrepreneurs and their families.
"The first quarter of 2014 has seen that momentum continue with strong occupancy in our hotels, restaurants and other businesses, strong demand for new hotel projects both in the Gulf region and internationally, and strong interest from talented people to choose to build their careers with a proud, Dubai-born brand like Jumeirah."
Jumeirah Group reported that consolidated group revenues grew by 8 percent in 2013 while total revenues under management went up by 11 percent.
In 2013, occupancy and average room rates across the company's owned and leased portfolio grew by five percent, the company said in a statement.
This contributed to an 11 peercent growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR). All beach properties in Dubai continued to exceed their fair market share, while consolidated room revenue increased by 11 percent. The company's food and beverage operations delivered a 7 percent increase in revenues, it added.
Jumeirah said the UK continued to be the biggest source market, representing a total 16.4 percent of total room nights sold and revenue from UK travellers increased by 26 percent.
Meanwhile, Russia continued to be the largest source of revenue, rising by 11.7 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 and accounting for 16 percent of the company's revenues.
Other notable areas of growth were Saudi Arabia which registered an increase of 33 percent in business while Chinese business grew by 32 percent and Australia by 70 percent driven by the partnership between Qantas and Emirates Airline.
The statement said that the majority of Jumeirah's hotels and resorts grew their market share
During 2013, Jumeirah Group signed management agreements to operate a hotel in St Petersburg, Russia, and two hotels in a luxury resort on the coast of Oman, near Muscat. Both are scheduled to open in 2016.
The company also signed a series of letters of understanding in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe during 2013 which are expected to mature into management agreements in 2014 to add to an already robust pipeline of new developments.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.