Catering operations helped push Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) to a profit last year despite a weak performance from its core lodging division. The company, which owns hotels in the capital including the Hilton and Le Meridien, said its net profit for last year was up 48 per cent compared with the previous year, to Dh432.9 million (US$117.8m). ADNH operates a catering division through a joint venture with the Compass Group of the UK, and owns and manages Al Ghazal Transport and Sunshine Tours.
The catering division posted growth of 32 per cent to Dh82m, while the company said that its hotels division's performance softened compared with 2008. "Although a diversified company, ADNH's core strength is and will remain hotels and tourism, and our sector has faced tremendous challenges in 2009 due to the unstable global economic situation," said Saif al Hajeri, the chairman of ADNH. Mr al Hajeri said occupancy levels in ADNH's hotels declined last year, adding that this year was also likely to be challenging.
"The hospitality sector in Abu Dhabi, although affected less than many countries worldwide, does show signs of slowing in 2010," he said. Abu Dhabi last year experienced a decline in the numbers of hotel guests from western Europe. But the company said it was pushing ahead with its expansion in the capital, with its high-end JW Marriott resort on track to open this year. ADNH is developing the JW Marriott Grand Hotel in the area between the two bridges leading off the island. The Venetian-themed resort, which is set among waterways and canals, is to have 500 rooms, 169 branded service residences, 85 land-based villas and 10 overwater villas.
Each water villa will have a mooring dock for a yacht of up to 30 metres. The company said its Park Hyatt hotel, being built on Saadiyat Island, would open in the second quarter of next year. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org