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Mon 5 Sep 2005 04:00 AM

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Dusit prepares for regional expansion

Thai hotel company, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, opened its regional office in Dubai in June, the first step in a planned regional expansion headed by Sam-Erik Ruttmann, as regional vice president, Dusit Middle East.

Thai hotel company, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, opened its regional office in Dubai in June, the first step in a planned regional expansion headed by Sam-Erik Ruttmann, as regional vice president, Dusit Middle East.

Expansion plans include additional hotels in Dubai, as well as entries into Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain, with Dusit planning to introduce its Royal Princess and D2 Hotel brands to the Middle East.

“We had a lot of enquiries into our Bangkok office, primarily from hotel developers in Dubai and from other GCC countries, so we decided now was the time to show a strong interest in the region on a full time basis,” Ruttmann told Hotelier Middle East.

“Dubai is the primary area to have additional hotels. The city is developing separate markets and we can be a player in this. Abu Dhabi is also very important, and we are now looking at a few opportunities there, while in Qatar we are also working on something. In Bahrain, we are considering projects on the west coast, close to the Formula 1 track,” he added.

Part of Ruttmann’s new responsibilities as regional director is the development of other Dusit brands in the region. The company offer a mid-market brand called Royal Princess, and has recently introduced a new five-star lifestyle brand, called D2.

“D2 is the second generation Dusit,” Ruttmann explained. “It is aimed at well-travelled professionals aged under 40. There are strong design elements, and user-friendly high technology.”

The first D2 hotel recently celebrated its soft opening in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, and Ruttmann is confident that the brand will travel well and make an entry into the Middle East.

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