InterContinental and Hilton see Dubai potential beyond Expo 2020

The hotel operators project the emirate's growth to continue beyond 2020.

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Two hotel executives say Dubai will be an attractive spot for hotel developers even after Expo 2020.

Pascal Gauvin, the chief operations officer for the Middle East, India and Africa at InterContinental Hotels Group, said that Dubai’s emergence as a global hub alongside London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore will sustain its growth beyond 2021, and that is fuelling interest with international hotel operators.

The group has 18 hotels in the UAE and seven more in the pipeline that will add 1,833 rooms across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah in the next three to five years. Its InterContinental Dubai Marina is expected to open this year.

Hilton, which manages 17 hotels in the UAE, has six projects under way that are expected to come on stream in the next three to five years, including a DoubleTree hotel at Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. The rest are in Dubai and include a Hilton property on Palm Jumeirah.

The company’s UAE pipeline represents about 9 per cent of its total pipeline for the Middle East and Africa.

“The hotel sector in Dubai won’t stop at 2020, and years beyond 2020 it will remain successful, especially with the development of the airlines,” said Christian Grage, the company’s vice president of operations for the Arabian Peninsula.

To tap into Dubai’s need for mid-market hotels, Hilton will debut its Hilton Garden Inn brand next year, with one property near Port Rashid and the other in the old trade centre of Deira.

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