ROYAL CONTINENTAL has opened its first hotel in Dubai’s Deira district. The four-star property, located near Deira City Centre mall, features traditional Arabic designs. Superior rooms are priced from AED350 per night, rising to AED375 for Deluxe and AED400 for Junior Suites (before taxes). Nakeel’s hotel pipeline powers on, sealing a new deal with Minor Hotels Group for a 372-room AVANI hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai. AL WADI DESERT, RAS AL KHAIMAH, A RITZ-CARLTON PARTNER HOTEL is open for reservations. An Al Rimal Pool Villa costs AED 2,200 per villa per night (before taxes). The 219-room MOVENPICK COLOMBO has opened, reportedly the first international five-star to open in the Sri Lankan capital in 25 years. Marriott International has debuted its Renaissance Hotels brand in subSaharan Africa, with the opening of the RENAISSANCE LAGOS IKEJA. The 155-room hotel is located 5km from the city’s international airport. Minor Hotels brand Oaks has debuted in India with OAKS BODHGAYA in the state of Bihar. ASCOTT is bolstering its Chinese presence, announcing new properties in Changsha, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Handan and Xuzhou.