In June 2005, Jumeirah re-branded the company and also announced its expansion plans which outlined its intention to grow its portfolio of luxury hotels locally, regionally and internationally to 40 by the end of 2009. Following these commitments, Jumeirah has already announced several local, regional and international hotel developments and acquisitions. Jumeirah became part of Dubai Holding in December 2004 and through the synergies with other member entities of Dubai Holding, such as Dubai Investment Group, Dubai International Properties and Dubai Properties has been able to accelerate the company growth.
On January 15th this year, Jumeirah assumed management of the Essex House, one of New York's most prominent and historic luxury hotels and renamed the hotel Jumeirah Essex House after it was acquired by Dubai Investment Group last September. The acquisition is the first in the Americas for Jumeirah and an aggressive and significant step in the expansion plans. Following this announcement, Jumeirah appointed a Senior Vice President - Americas, Mr. Frank van der Post, who is responsible for all of Jumeirah's activities and operations within the Americas. The entry into the US market means that Jumeirah now operates in three of the world's most exiting cities: Dubai, London and New York.
In February of this year, Jumeirah announced its appointment by Shanghai Lixing Hotel Limited, a joint venture between Shanghai Hotel Investments Limited and Shui On Private Group, to manage Shanghai's most prominent and prestigious new hotel development in the downtown Luwan District. HanTang Jumeirah Shanghai will open in mid 2008. This is a significant step for the group in the Asian market.
Jumeirah is also expanding rapidly within the GCC region and has already announced that it has been appointed to manage the luxury hotel at Jumeirah Dubai Towers - Doha, Qatar, a five-star property that will feature 146 luxurious rooms and suites. Jumeirah will also manage the luxury hotels and theme park within the Saraya Aqaba development that is expected to transform the beachfront town of Aqaba, Jordan, into a world-class waterfront resort city.
In Dubai, Jumeirah was selected to operate 'Aqua Dunya', a unique theme park resort located in the heart of Dubailand - a project that is set to become the world's largest leisure, entertainment and tourism attraction. The 8 million sq. ft. theme park will include the Jumeirah Desert Pearl Hotel, a wet and dry theme park and a port and traditional market district. More facilities are expected to be announced in the second phase of the development.
In addition Jumeirah has been appointed to manage Jumeirah Al Khor, a prestigious hotel and apartment development which will be located in the heart of Dubai Healthcare City, overlooking Dubai Creek. The hotel tower will feature 439 well appointed luxury rooms and suites over 34 stories whilst the residential component of the project will feature 406 fully serviced apartments over 42 stories, which will be leased on a short to medium term basis. In addition, the hotel tower will feature four two dedicated floors of Special Care units, equipped with the latest medical equipment and fully serviced by highly qualified medical staff, which is a first for the region.
Jumeirah also announced the highly anticipated Jumeirah Business Bay Hotel. This hotel will be located in the Business Bay, Dubai's new commercial business district and will be a strong statement of the region's corporate success. With a contemporary exterior this hotel will be 36 stories high and have 312 rooms including guest rooms, suites and a royal suite. Round the clock exceptional service will be complemented by an infinity pool, fully equipped gymnasium, a spa and landscaped terraces.
Jumeirah's growth is also demonstrated in the expansion of its international network of sales offices. The existing Jumeirah sales offices in North America, the United Kingdom and Germany are being extended whilst the Group has appointed sales representation in Asia and opened additional sales offices in Paris, Riyadh and Moscow.
Gerald Lawless, Chief Executive Officer for Jumeirah, commented:
"Our development plans are moving fast and we are well on track to achieve the level of expansion we announced last year. We have many more projects under negotiation and we look forward to making more exciting announcements soon."
Jumeirah will be aggressively entering new markets over the coming months and years and throughout this expansion period, the Group will continue to follow its Hallmarks that are the core operating philosophy of Jumeirah. The commitment to 'Stay Different' - the company's new tagline - and the drive for quality in all of its activities are reflected in the number of prestigious travel and tourism awards that Jumeirah has won recently, including the award for 'Best Business Hotel Group in the Middle East' by readers of Business Traveller Magazine Asia and Business Traveller Magazine UK. Jumeirah was commended at the 2005 Condé Nast Readers' Travel Awards in the UK where the Jumeirah Carlton Tower featured in the 'Top 5 Business Hotels in the UK'.