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Mon 30 Apr 2012 06:22 PM

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Jumeirah eyes 15,000 new staff amid expansion

Dubai hotel group looking to grow workforce to 30,000 over the next five years

Jumeirah eyes 15,000 new staff amid expansion
Gerald Lawless, executive chairman, Jumeirah Group.

Luxury Dubai-based hotel company Jumeirah Group will be looking to grow from 15,000 employees to up to 30,000 over the next five years as the number of its operating hotels doubles from 20 to 35-40.

Jumeirah executive chairman Gerald Lawless said: “If we have 15,000 [employees] from 20 hotels, although some of our hotels are very large within Dubai, but you would have to think we would be up in the region if we were in that number of hotels [35-40 open within five years] we would certainly be in the region of 20,000, 25,000, maybe even 30,000 {employees]”.

Speaking to Hotelier Middle East on the sidelines of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, he added: “We’re a labour-intensive industry but we keep saying; tourism travel and hospitality is a great provider of jobs and jobs is what its all about at the moment on a global basis.”

Jumeirah Group’s pipeline of hotels expected to open over the coming years includes projects in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Qatar, as well as hotels in Indonesia, Bangkok, Anguilla and five properties in China.

To assist with recruitment at the upcoming Chinese properties, Lawless said he was looking to introduce an incentive scheme for Chinese employees working in at Jumeirah’s Dubai properties.

“We believe the culture of Jumeirah can be exported very effectively through Chinese colleagues who have worked here for a number of years,” said Lawless.

“So we’re working out an incentive programme to say to your Chinese colleagues, ‘look if you go back to China and you don’t have to stay forever, go back for a year, a year and a half, we will guarantee you a job with Jumeirah whether in Dubai or somewhere else, but we want you to go back into China initially’.

“I think the human capital is always the most important part of a hotel and we in Jumeriah recognise that, we drive our brand through the people that work for us, that’s not just talk, we believe in that and to do it effectively we have to do programmes like I’ve just described.”

The average occupancy rate for Jumeirah’s beach hotels was 84.4 percent in the first quarter of the year, while the average occupancy rate for the company’s city properties was 85.5 percent, Lawless said on Sunday.

Jumeirah is in the “final stages” of agreeing three management contracts in Saudi Arabia, he said.

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