By Zainab Fattah www.bloomberg.com
Emaar Hospitality Group LLC plans to manage five new hotels under its brand “The Address” in the coming four years, doubling the hotels it operates, Chief Executive Officer Marc Dardenne said.
The company, which operates Armani’s first property in the world’s tallest tower, will open hotels in the south of France and Marrakesh, Morocco in 2013. It’s also planning hotel- openings in Bali, Budapest and Istanbul the following year. Emaar Hospitality is also looking at opportunities in China, he said.
“The strategy is asset-light; meaning we will be a management company and we will be operating the hotels on behalf of the owners,” Dardenne said in an interview today. “There is no equity investment from our side.”
Emaar Properties PJSC, the United Arab Emirates biggest property developer, was hurt by slumping demand for properties amid the global crisis which drove down property prices in Dubai by 60 percent since their peak in mid-2008. The developer is focusing on recurring income such as hotel revenue and shopping- mall leases to generate income.
Hospitality revenue at Emaar Properties surged by 50 percent to 760 million dirhams ($207 million) during the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to Emaar’s financial statement.
“We’re looking at 2011 for steady growth” of 8 percent to 10 percent in compared with 2010, Dardenne said without being more specific.
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