Gulf Business


Chief commercial officer at Jumeirah Group


On recent projects

This year has been great because we’re growing our portfolio within the region and further. We have two projects very close to opening – one is in Muscat and the other is in Bahrain. We’ve just opened our first property in Bali as well. We have a number of destinatio­ns in Dubai where we’re actually ahead of pre-pandemic levels in terms of occupancy.

On expansion in Saudi Arabia

We’re very focused on Saudi as an emerging destinatio­n brand and we have a number of projects. We have a property under developmen­t in Makkah that we expect to open this year, or early next year. And it’s part of a large master plan developmen­t within Makkah. We’re also keen to pursue opportunit­ies in Riyadh and Jeddah.

Coming to the giga projects in the Red Sea, we have a project under constructi­on on Shurayrah island. We are working very closely with John [Pagano] and his team on how we will enter that market. It’s a very integrated island. We are going to operate it in partnershi­p with Red Sea Developmen­t to ensure that it is aligned with their goals.

On emerging trends and growth

Last year, we found [the rise of] pure leisure travel, almost like a sort of ‘revenge travel’ scenario which is another buzzword that’s coming around the industry. We saw leisure travel come back very quickly across our core properties in July. This year, we’re starting to see this b-leisure travel across our properties in Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and also in extended stay brands like Jumeirah Living. In 2021, in Dubai, our average length of stay grew by 24 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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