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Thu 23 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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New-look Jumeirah has global aspirations

The newly rebranded Jumeirah, formerly Jumeirah International, is planning to run as many as 40 properties within the next five years

As part of a global vision to become ‘bigger than Four Seasons’, Jumeirah International has renamed itself ‘Jumeirah’, in a move that will place all the hotels in its group under a single brand umbrella, except the Burj Al Arab.

According to the company, the aim of rebranding is to create a strong platform for regional, but specifically international expansion. “This move will drive our business, create a brand equity and allow us to market ourselves more effectively aboard,” announced Gerald Lawless, CEO of Jumeirah. “We see no reason why we can’t compete with the likes of Four Seasons, and even outdo them. The rebranding is where this process begins,” he added.

The group’s existing portfolio of hotels will be renamed, with the brand ‘Jumeirah’ incorporated alongside the current name. For example, Emirates Towers will become Jumeirah Emirates Towers, London’s Carlton Tower will become the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, and Madinat Jumeirah will be, somewhat confusingly, Jumeirah Madinat Jumeirah.

The Burj Al Arab however, was deemed to be above such rebranding. “The Burj is the icon of Dubai, it’s Dubai’s Taj Mahal, its Opera House. Therefore we felt it should keep its unique identity as perhaps the best-known hotel in the world, but of course remain the flagship of our group,” explained Lawless.

At a cost of over US $8 million, the rebranding process will see all hotel signs and company products, from stationary to bottled water, changed to the new name. This will be followed by an advertising campaign in the fourth quarter of the year, promoting the new brand. Jumeirah’s website will also undergo a revamp, and work has already commenced on the new site, jumeirah.com.

The company’s growth target is to have 40 properties worldwide by 2010. “We have been very active in establishing sales and marketing offices around the world, particularly in New York and London. The rebranding will allow us to move forward as a global company,” said Lawless.

Speaking on the dangers of losing individuality by rolling out an international brand, Walshe remained adamant that Jumeirah would retain its level of ‘uniqueness’. “Conformity and sameness is something we will never suffer from, this is our commitment. We will not just be another hotel chain,” he declared.

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