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Mon 5 May 2014 11:53 AM

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Jumeirah revisits contemporary lifestyle brand

Luxury chain unveiled Venu brand in 2010, but shelved it a year later

Jumeirah revisits contemporary lifestyle brand
Jumeirah Group, President and group CEO Gerald Lawless.

Dubai-based luxury hotelier Jumeirah Group is “seriously considering” launching a second hotel brand in the lifestyle segment, president and group CEO Gerald Lawless told on Sunday at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai.

One option would be to bring back Venu Hotels, a contemporary lifestyle brand Jumeirah Group first unveiled at AHIC 2010, but abandoned a year later.

“We’re looking at that again with a view to having maybe a contemporary lifestyle [brand], we haven’t come to a conclusion but we’re seriously considering it,” said Lawless.

“We’re looking at the possibility [of bringing back Venu], we would not exclude any possibility, it might be different, it might be the same,” he said.

With regard to what star rating a new brand might be, Lawless added: "I'm very reluctant these days to talk about two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight stars, I think nowadays it's very much about the brand. The brand defines the level of the hotel. If for example we said it would be a contemporary lifestyle hotel, how would that be graded star wise, I don’t know.

"It would be at the same level as Jumeirah, it would be at a lower investment cost than Jumeirah per room, for example we said before when we were launching Venu the last time, we said we would agree a room size around 35 square metres but I think it's so much more about establishing what the brand stands for, publicising that, launching that, than what star level it is".

Back in June 2010, the first Venu Hotel was signed with Shanghai Zendai Himalayas Real Estate Co. Ltd to manage Venu Himalayas Hotel Shanghai.

Less than a year later, Lawless revealed at AHIC 2011 that the company had decided not to develop any Venu Hotels, in light of the global economic crisis.

He said at the time: “We’ve decided to park the Venu brand for the time being.

“We came to the conclusion, with the overall world recession of 09/10 and what’s going on generally, that in this stage of our development we decided that we would ask the management to concentrate and focus on the evolution and development of the Jumeirah “stay different” luxury brand, so from the hotels perspective at the moment we’re a single brand proposition.

“We are Jumeirah and we will be Jumeirah for the future. We might look at it [Venu] again in a year or two to see whether or not there is a possibility to do something with the Venu brand, but right now for the immediate future we would not,” said Lawless in 2011.

A member of Dubai Holding, Jumeirah Group announced on Thursday results for 2013, including an increase in consolidated room revenues of 8 percent and an increase in total revenues under management of 11%.

Jumeirah Group operates 22 hotels in 11 countries, including seven properties in Dubai.

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