|By K.T. Abdurabb, Arab News, Jeddah,
Saudi ArabiaMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 15, 2013--DUBAI -- Onyx Hospitality Group, which aims to become one of Asia's leading hospitality providers within five years, has lined up a number of new hotel signings and openings for 2013 at locations, including the Gulf region.
Onyx opened Amari Doha in January and is currently planning hotels in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Bahrain, Peter Henley, president and CEO of Thailand based Onyx Group, told Arab News.
"By the end of 2013, the group will have 38 operational properties with an additional 12 contracts signed for the future," he added.
"We currently operate 34 properties with an inventory of more than 5,000 rooms, across four diverse yet complementary hospitality brands -- Saffron, Amari, Shama and Ozo -- each catering to the distinctive requirements of today's business and leisure travelers," Henley said.
New openings are spread across the group's brand portfolio, which includes five star luxury brand Saffron, mid to upscale brand Amari, new select services offering OZO and serviced apartment brand Shama.
"Our research indicates that Saudi Arabia has high potential and the country needs a number of three- and four-star hotels. We have started home work on it and waiting for the right opportunity," he said.
"For Saudi Arabia, we have four-star Amari and three-star Ozo brands," he said.
"The Kingdom needs a number of three- and four star hotels," he added.
"The 120-room Amari Doha is only our starter in the Gulf. We have plans to open Saffron, Shama and Amari brand properties in Dubai.
"The Dubai projects will be finalized by the end of this year. Shama and Saffron properties will be ready by 2015." Henely said.
"We have a big deal with the Middle East. In Thailand, we have been receiving a number of visitors from the Gulf region for the last five years and it is increasing" he added.
"As we give a lot of importance for the visitors from the Gulf, we have appointed Arabic speaking staff in our properties in Thailand because we receive a lot of Qataris, Emiratis and other Arab nationals in Bangkok," Henley said.
"In addition to the Gulf, we have elegant plans for Indonesia, India, China, Maldives and Sri Lanka. We are excited on our first Amari property in Indonesia, and as such, a significant milestone for us. Opening in 2015, Amari Pecatu Bali will feature 435 rooms, suites and villas," he explained.
Amari is the centerpiece of Onyx portfolio and five Amari projects are currently under development in India, Indonesia and Thailand.
"Ozo is the select service brand that offers a great experience. The first Ozo property, located on Hong Kong island, will open in Q2 2013, followed soon after by properties in Sri Lanka, and Koh Samui and Pattaya in Thailand and Malaysia," Henely said.
"Shama, our boutique serviced apartment has secured management contracts for three new developments in China in the cities of Hangzhou, Chengdu and Beijing, thereby strengthening the brand's position as a leading provider of quality living in Asia," he added.
(c)2013 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Visit the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) at www.arabnews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services