|By Muzaffar Rizvi, Khaleej Times, Dubai,
United Arab EmiratesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 25, 2012--DUBAI -- Hues Boutique Hotel, which recently opened its doors for business and leisure travellers, sees brighter days ahead for the hospitality industry and has evolved an aggressive expansion plan to launch the new brand in the region.
The newly-opened upmarket property for luxury travellers to the UAE plans to launch six more properties in the Gulf region by 2014 as demand picks up in the wake of the recovery in the tourism sector across the globe.
"We are going to open three hotels in Dubai in the next few months and three more in GCC by the end of 2014," Nasser Shams, director of sales and marketing of Hues Boutique Hotel, told in an interview.
Strategically located in the heart of city, the four-star property brings contemporary architecture to Dubai's landscape. It has a total of 103 bedrooms portraying a wide array of colours creating a different ambience on each floor.
"The moment our guests step into a very discreet entrance, they are transported into a different world. They are welcomed by a very friendly staff in an ambience that is so different from other Dubai hotels," Shams said.
He said Hues is the first four-star boutique hotel in the UAE and this unique brand will soon be introduced in the region to grab hold of the upscale luxury market.
"For sure, we do have expansion plans. However, these plans are made very prudently. We are constantly looking for potential and growing regional markets. Thus, we are on the way to sign for a new property in Qatar," he said.
"We have a very well-defined investment strategy to introduce the boutique hotel concept in the region to serve the business and leisure travellers," he added.
Shams said the first-of-its-kind boutique hotel project, which was officially launched in April this year, targets the upscale market and expects 70 per cent occupancy levels in its first year of operations.
"This hotel is as much an art project as it is a boutique hotel. As the hotel is already getting rave reviews, we expect at least 40 per cent occupancy from luxury travellers this year."
"As you know we are a new hotel but we are very much encouraged by the results of the first quarter as the hotel experienced nearly 70 per cent occupancy. As summer is approaching, our understanding is that things will only get better."
Destination of choice
Shams remains upbeat about the hospitality sector in Dubai and said the emirate is the destination of choice for leisure travellers due to excellent facilities it offered to the visitors. "We believe that there is demand for the low and high category. We are concentrating on Dubai as it is a very important destination for both business and leisure travellers. We have reports that the tourist numbers are going to increase this year which means everyone in this industry can benefit."
"We are thankful to the Government of Dubai for providing a fabulous infrastructure that has made Dubai the destination of choice," he added.
In reply to a question about the outlook for the hospitality sector, he said brighter days are ahead as occupancy and average room rates have improved this year due to continued growth in the region's tourism industry. "Looking at the very encouraging figures of 2012, we can very safely say that it has been one of the very successful years for the hotel industry of the GCC market. We hope and indicators show that the year 2013 will be even better."
"Occupancy in the UAE is reaching a good level while average daily rates are climbing so we see a positive and continued growth in the region's tourism industry."
"We are just in the first year of operations but we are hopeful of increased occupancy in the days to come because of our offerings and services that are very different from other Dubai hotels. Thus, we definitely see good days ahead for us and the hospitality sector," he added.
To a question, he said 2013 will prove good for the UAE's hospitality industry as the demand is up for more hotel projects after the strong recovery in tourism.
"We believe that 2013 will be the peak year for the UAE. Thus as demand will increase for more hotels, it will help everyone to grow. We will take advantage of this factor by providing good service and competitive rates.
In reply to a question about the Arab Spring, he said it has a positive impact on UAE's hotel industry. "It was excellent especially for the UAE as it became the destination of choice for many in the GCC. The hotel segment is beginning to boom again and it is returning to a healthy and robust level."
"For us, the Arab Spring served as an important factor as only after this factor we started setting up new properties in the UAE and will be announcing new properties in other GCC countries. Thus, we hope with these investments we will emerge as a strong player in the region," Shams concluded.
(c)2012 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
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