By Gemma Greenwood
The hotel giant looks to expand outside main hubs.
The Jumeirah Group has identified China's "secondary cities" as locations for new hotel roll outs, the company's senior vice president, Asia Pacific, has revealed.
"Of course, we have to have hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, but the secondary cities are important too because they will evolve to become primary cities," Serge Zaalof told
"These aren't like secondary cities in France or the UK for example [where the populations are relatively small], but have populations of some 10 or 12 million in provinces with 100 to 200 million. Hotel groups that aren't looking at opening properties in these cities should do so."
"The government of China is doing so much to spread the wealth across the country and we have to go with that."
Jumeirah has already been appointed to manage HanTang Jumeirah Shanghai - a joint venture between Shanghai Hotel Investments Limited and Shui On Private Group.
The luxury property, based in the downtown Luwan District, will feature 338 rooms, suites and villas and a "comprehensive spa" aimed at corporate and leisure guests.
Zaalof said Jumeirah would look to open a resort on China's Sanya Island in the south, which boasts a "unique tropical climate".
"In Asia Pacific we will operate 12 hotels by 2011," he said.
"Between now and the end of the year I am sure we will have announced two or three more destinations."
A private island resort in Phuket, Thailand, is already on the cards and Jumeirah is eyeing property-opening opportunities "all the usual resorts in Thailand and Bali," Zaalof added.