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Mon 19 Feb 2018 06:02 PM

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UAE's Mishal Kanoo eyes high-end hospitality sector with JV deal

Kanoo partners with French firm to create new event management and luxury hospitality staffing company

UAE's Mishal Kanoo eyes high-end hospitality sector with JV deal
Mishal Kanoo. (ITP Images)

UAE-based conglomerate Kanoo Group's chairman has announced he is partnering with French services provider, Armonia Group, to create a new event management and luxury hospitality staffing company.

Called Armonia Middle East and based in Dubai, the joint venture is looking at a growing market for high-end experiences at sporting events in the Gulf, as well as conferences and exhibitions hosted by major brands and corporations in the region.

“We see that the region has a need for event experiences that need to now up their game and deliver what should be the next level of experience and sophistication,” said Mishal Kanoo during a press conference at the Meydan racecourse in Dubai.

“This is why we’ve partnered with a company that has been behind the scenes helping deliver what are some of the most iconic events in France. They’ve become market leaders in France despite tremendous competition, and I can only see them leading the field here with what they can bring.”

The firm’s French parent has previously helped host events the Roland Garros French Open Grand Slam and the COP 21 UN climate change conference in Paris, provides hospitality services at the Palace of Versaille, and holds contracts with corporations and luxury brands including Air France, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent for whom it organises bespoke launches, receptions and trade fairs.

It generated more than 850 million euros in revenue last year and with its new operations in the region hopes to bring that figure to 1 billion, said Patrick Thélot, founder of the French services company.

“But I’d like to say that we are not here to just to make money. A lot of our clients in France are growing here want to deliver extraordinary experiences. We’ve seen overwhelming interest from others as well for events and luxury hospitality solutions and we want to bring the same quality of experiences to this region. This is a fast growing market and has great opportunity for the right kind of luxury experiences,” he added.

The firm hinted it is already in discussions regarding potential contracts, particularly with those organising sporting events in Dubai, and hopes to make “at least a few announcements soon this year", said Kanoo.

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