Mumbai: Jumeirah Group, founded in 1997 with an aim to become a trailblazer in the hospitality industry, with its arsenal of 20 hotels worldwide is today a colossus and is now all set to ink 18 hotel management agreements.
Charlie Taylor, Group Director, Brand Communications, Jumeirah Group, said: “We have three properties in London and have presence in China, GCC and Maldives, and will open shop in Bali soon. Though a homegrown Dubai firm, we are an international hospitality brand with presence in Middle East, Asia and Europe. We are planning to enter the India market soon.”

“Though a homegrown Dubai firm, we are an international hospitality brand with presence in ME, Asia and Europe. We are planning to enter the India market soon” – Charlie Taylor, Group Director – Brand Communications,  Jumeirah Group

The Group, a member of Dubai Holding – a collection of leading Dubai-based businesses and projects, opened a beach resort – Jumeirah Royal Saray – in Bahrain on February 28. As part of its ambitious expansion plans, it will open two hotels in Abu Dhabi this year – one on the Sa’adiyaat Island where The Louvre Abu Dhabi is located, and another the Al Wathba Desert Resort.

Currently, Jumeirah Group is operational in nine destinations: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Frankfurt, Kuwait, London, Maldives, Mallorca and Shanghai. The Group is planning to open premium hotels in three markets – Bali, Muscat and Nanjing, China.

“In the luxury space, there are three brand tenets we adhere to: To be imaginative, exhilarating and culturally connected. There are some hotel brands that follow a universal character across spectrums and countries. We are not like that. We allow guests to enjoy and relish the distinct character of respective destinations by integrating the ethos of the places with Jumeirah’s brand personality.” At the Group’s new hotel in Bahrain, a lot of detailing has been inspired by the royal palaces. Traditional Bahrain town homes have also influenced the design to a large extent. Marbles imported from Italy and chandeliers crafted in The Czech Republic add more dynamism to the design. The fourth hotel, Jumeirah Al Naseem, the newest addition to Madinat Jumeirah, has been designed in line with the 2016 hospitality standards, and sports a chic look. Last year, the Group grew by four percent. With over 5500 rooms, the properties welcomed three million guests across the portfolio in 2017. Biggest markets for the Dubai-based company are UK, Germany, Russia and GCC, followed by China.

“We maintain high room rates and still have very good occupancy because of the brand loyalty of our guests. Ours is the most awarded hotel in the world and has impeccable goodwill attached to it. We have an ‘all suites’ hotel in London – Grosvenor House Suites on Parkway Street. I think it is perfect for large Indian families,” he said.
The Group clocked 40,500 room nights from India in 2017 against 12,000 in 2016.

“We appointed Blue Square Consultants last year to represent us in India. There is huge potential in India, Maldives, UAE, Bahrain and London. India is the largest source market for Dubai, and hence we plan to build greater brand awareness in India. Right now, we are looking to launch a business hotel in Mumbai. This would be a managed property,” said Taylor.

New sub-brand
Zabeel House (ZH), the Group’s take on budget hotels, was launched recently. “From a development strategy point of view, ZH allows us to create properties which are not super luxury destinations in Tier I cities. Jumeirah will always be in AAA locations in world-class cities.” Two ZH hotels will be opening soon: Zabeel House, Al Seef and Zabeel House Mini. In all, five ZH hotels have been announced: three in Dubai, one in Riyadh and one in London. Four openings in 2018 and the Riyadh unit in 2019.

Taylor said, “The number of travellers demanding a full destination experience is on the rise, but they don’t want to spend five days in a hotel or shell out too much on accommodation. They want to invest more in the experience. So we are located in interesting neighbourhoods on the choicest tourism trails. We are not in downtown locations but close to tourist spots, hence prices are moderate. For India market, we feel Zabeel House by Jumeirah could do wonders.”