By Andy Sambidge
UAE-based operator TIME says two rooms per floor will be adapted in move to attract medical tourists
UAE-headquartered TIME Hotels Management on Wednesday announced it will manage a new five-star hotel located close to Dubai Healthcare City as the emirate targets growth in the number of medical tourists visiting the city.
The 277-room TIME Royal Hotel will occupy a prime position off the Sheikh Rashid Road with easy access to Dubai's healthcare hub, the company said in a statement.
Two rooms per floor will be specifically designed to be handicap-accessible; which is a first for the city, according to the company.
Under development by Awtad Investment Company, the AED200 million hotel is set to open in 2016 and will offer guests a choice of two restaurants, a coffee shop, gymnasium, swimming pool, spa and meeting space.
The latest announcement comes hot on the heels of news of its first Egypt resort property in the Red Sea tourist destination of Sahl Hasheesh.
"The new Wafi location will complement our existing properties which are located at opposite ends of the city in Barsha/TECOM and Al Qusais, and will also add much-needed room stock to the Oud Metha area which is home to Dubai Healthcare City," said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.
"Dubai plans to position the emirate as a global medical tourism destination by 2020 with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) targeting 500,000 medical tourists with expected revenues of AED2.6 billion. To support this ambitious strategy it is imperative that Oud Metha's hospitality capacity is enhanced as the area is currently underserviced in terms of hotel rooms," he added.
The DHA is targeting a broad spectrum of treatment-seeking visitors including nationals from the GCC countries and South Asian medical tourists, which, according to Awadalla, is a fit with TIME Hotels' own sales and marketing strategy.
"We will also add more value to the market with two rooms per floor at our new Wafi property specifically designed to be handicap-accessible; which is a first for the city and a unique selling point for the promotion of Dubai as a leading destination for medical tourism," he said.
The hotel takes the company's collection of UAE hotels and hotel apartments to eight properties, and with a pipeline of five further properties in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Egypt. It aims to operate 13 properties by 2016.