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Wed 13 Feb 2008 06:26 PM

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Mid-market unlikely for Nakheel Hotels

Nakheel Hotels chief executive Joe Sita has ruled out entering the mid-market hotel sector in the short-term future.

Nakheel Hotels will continue to drive its portfolio growth through the luxury and budget sectors of the market, according to chief executive Joe Sita.

Nakheel Hotels was formed after the merger of Istithmar Hotels with Dubai World's other hotel interests.

Sita said the two ends of the market "provide the greatest opportunity for growth".

"In branded-budget hotels we plan to go into the developing markets, such as the Middle East and Asia, rather than the mature markets which are more saturated," he explained.

"That's not to say it's not a good business model, and if someone came to us with a deal we would consider it, but we are concentrating on the developing markets."

The company would also focus on the top end of the market, through its flagship projects on developments such as The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

"There is a very clear trend towards wealthier people - the number of millionaires throughout the world, not only in China and India, continues to grow. As that grows, and as you get the baby boomers coming through, there is more demand for those luxury goods and services and travel," he added.

"The mid-market is quite saturated, and it is not that it is not a good investment, it's just that in our strategy we don't want to be in that sector."

For the full interview with Joe Sita see Hotelier Middle East's March issue.

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