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Thu 1 Feb 2007 12:00 AM

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Moroccan venture for Banyan Tree

Luxury resort and spa brand, Banyan Tree, has revealed plans to invest in the Moroccan market.

Luxury resort and spa brand, Banyan Tree, has revealed plans to invest in the Moroccan market.

A Banyan Tree Marrakech property will open its doors in 2008 and the company’s contemporary sister brand, the Angsana Collection, is currently renovating a series of traditional Moroccan riads in Marrakech and nearby Essaouira, which could be up-and-running this year.

“This is part of our strategy to get closer to our clients. We do not want to necessarily be everywhere in the world, but rather in areas where Banyan Tree clients like to go on holiday. For the Middle East and European markets, Morocco is one of these destinations,” explained Sami Ayari, the general manager of Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort, Al Areen, which will open in Bahrain next month, marking the Banyan Tree brand’s first foray into the Middle East market.

“We also have projects planned for Greece, Mexico, Turkey, Montenegro, China and India, but the Middle East and North Africa are the key areas we have identified for growth.”

Until recently, the Banyan Tree and Angsana portfolios were restricted to Asia, particularly on its home turf, Thailand, but recent developments have seen resorts spring up in the Maldives and several day spas in Dubai.

At least six properties across both brands are planned for the UAE over the next two to three years, in destinations including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Projects in Oman and Sharjah are being considered.

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