By Louise Birchall
Dubai hospitality group says it will continue to focus on America after Essex House sale
Jumeirah Group said on Tuesday it “remains fully committed to the US market” despite the sale of its only New York hotel Essex House Hotel, which will be rebranded as the first JW Marriott in Manhattan.
Group (DIG), part of Jumeirah parent company Dubai Holding, bought the Essex House in 2005 for $423.9m, according to real estate research and information company Real Capital Analytics.
The 509-room Art Deco hotel at 160 Central Park South was sold to Strategic Hotels & Resorts for around $375m. A DIG spokesperson told reporters the time had been right to sell the hotel.
“The sale of Essex House is now proceeding and is scheduled to complete by midnight on September 7, 2012. After this date, it is expected that Marriott will assume responsibility for the management of the hotel," Jumeirah confirmed on August 27.
“We are working with the new owner and operator to ensure a smooth transition, while continuing to deliver the very best luxury service,” Jumeirah Group vice president of corporate communications Piers Schreiber told Hotelier Middle East.
Jumeirah does not have any upcoming properties in the US, but Schreiber said the group would continue to focus on America as a source market.
“Jumeirah remains fully committed to the US market, which we continue to serve through our sales offices in New York and other key cities. The US is a major source of outbound travel business for Jumeirah’s portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts and residences in Europe, Middle East and Asia,” said Schreiber.
“On the expansion front, Jumeirah has doubled the number of hotels under management since the beginning of 2011 and we have seen a tremendous response to the growth in our portfolio.
"Our focus for the coming months is to consolidate the success of that expansion and to ensure that all our source markets, including the US, continue to deliver robust business flows,” he added.
The UAE-based chain currently operates hotels in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Maldives, Mallorca, Rome and Shanghai.