Jumeirah Hotel Group looking for Saudi megaprojects
DAVOS: Jumeirah, the leading hotel and leisure group in the Middle East, is planning major developments in Saudi Arabia’s megaprojects, CEO José Silva told the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“We must be in those places, but I want to make sure we get the right address. Jumeiah always wants to be among the three best places in any location. If someone convinces me that this is the right address, I’ll get into it,” said.
Silva made it clear that he was thinking mainly of the two major developments on the west coast of the Kingdom: the NEOM metropolis and the Red Sea project further south along the coast. He is believed to be in contact with the tourism authorities of Saudi Arabia and potential partners in the Kingdom.
Silva also said that Jumeirah was eager to open hotels in Makkah and Madinah, which he called “preferred entry” points in the Kingdom. Work has already begun in two places.
“It is very important for us to acquire the right assets and the right designers. Unless we control the architect, we will not. We have to participate in the design process, ”he said.
A large presence in Saudi Arabia would be part of the “globalization” strategy that Silva has advanced in his first two years leading the hotel, leisure and restaurant business based in the UAE, owned by the government.
Last year, Jumeirah bought the Capri Palace on the Italian island of the same name, and is also involved in an important expansion plan in Asia, with six new projects underway in China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Silva is also overseeing a $ 100 million renovation of the Carlton hotel in Belgravia, London. Expansion through luxury hotel properties in other European capitals is also being considered.
In Dubai, he has brought world class managers to restaurants in the group’s iconic properties in Madinat and Burj Al Arab, with a group of “famous chefs” in the restaurants there.
“We want to be the best brand for “destination dining” he said.