Emaar plans new five star hotel brand (Gulf Business Capsule)

May 3rd, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of KPMG

Dubai, May 3 (IANS) Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure arm of UAE-based real estate giant Emaar Properties, has announced that it plans to roll out its own premium five star brand of world-class hotels and resorts. To operate under the brand name The Address Hotels & Resorts, the new chain will roll out later this year with the opening of The Address flagship hotels in Downtown Burj Dubai and another property in Dubai Marina, the company said in a statement here.

“The Address will be one of the prime drivers in our global expansion strategy in the hospitality and leisure business,” said Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar.

“Hospitality is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, especially in the Middle East region, and creating a new brand to operate our hotels and resorts globally is a key component of our business integration strategy.”

Following the launch of hotels in Burj Dubai, Dubai Mall and Dubai Marina, the group plans to unveil more properties in key cities and tourist destinations in the Middle East and North Africa region, the Indian subcontinent, Asia, Europe and the US within the next 10 years.

“The Address Hotels & Resorts will be set apart not only by their location but also in the total character and service standards, where we adopt a ‘one size fits one’ approach. This creates a shift from feature-focussed hotels to benefit-focussed hotels that will assure our guests a refreshingly different experience,” said Emaar Hospitality Group chief executive Marc Dardenne.

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Sundaram BNP Paribas launches two new funds in Kuwait

Leading Indian asset management company Sundaram BNP Paribas Mutual has launched two new funds in Kuwait in its ’select thematic’ series targeting the rapidly growing banking and financial services sector and the booming entertainment industry in India.

Financial Services Opportunities Fund, an open-end equity scheme, opened for subscription April 17 and will close May 14, 2008, the Kuwait Times reported.

The second fund, Entertainment Opportunities Fund, also an an open-end equity scheme, opened April 24 and will close May 20, 2008.

“Both funds emanate from a theme, the changing demographic profile of India,” the report quoted R. Vijayendiran, head of global business development, Sundaram BNP Paribas Mutual, as saying while launching the two new funds.

The funds, floated domestically and internationally, are open for investments by non-resident Indians in Kuwait and other Gulf countries.

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UAE major recipient of private equity investments

The UAE has emerged as the second largest recipient of private equity investments over the past decade with a market share of 19 percent of investments in the Middle East.

In the past 10 years, while Egypt has been the leading recipient of private equity investments with a market share of 37 percent, Saudi Arabia’s share also rose sharply to 15 percent, according to a report in the Khaleej Times.

“Private equity deals in established economies may be drying up because of the credit crunch but billions of dollars are still flowing in the Middle East,” the report said citing an unnamed leading industry observer.

Recent data showed that private equity in emerging markets mergers and acquisitions changed little in the first quarter of 2008 against the same period last year, valued at some $8.3 billion.

New amounts committed to private equity funds in the Middle East more than doubled in 2007 to $6 billion. This brought the total money under the management of private equity to around $13.3 billion in nearly 80 funds.

According to KPMG estimates, with some 223 privatisations valued at over $1 trillion in the pipeline in the next 10 years, private equity industry in the Middle East is poised for a big boom on the back of tremendous liquidity resulting from high crude oil prices.

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