Dubai's Jumeirah Group acquires historic Swiss hotel Le Richemond amid global expansion

Renovation work on the 140-year-old property is expected to be completed in 2025

Le Richemond hotel, founded in 1875, has 87 rooms and 22 suites. Photo: Jumeirah Group
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Dubai's Jumeirah Group has acquired Le Richemond hotel in Geneva, its first property purchase in Switzerland, as it continues to expand internationally and diversify its portfolio.

The historic property, located on Lake Geneva, will undergo renovations before reopening in 2025, the hotel operator said on Monday, without providing a value for the deal.

“This is an important acquisition for Jumeirah as it marks our entry into Switzerland … Le Richemond is a legendary property with a 140-year legacy and impeccable pedigree, and we are committed to preserving this heritage as we redesign the hotel,” said Katerina Giannouka, chief executive of Jumeirah Group.

“As the gateway to the mountains of Europe, Geneva is strategically significant for us as we look to diversify our portfolio in major cities with both summer and winter resort destinations.”

The global hospitality industry has seen a strong rebound from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as travel resumes worldwide.

The industry recorded “substantial levels of performance recovery” around the world at the end of 2022, with no signs of demand significantly slowing, according to hotel analytics provider STR.

This was despite rising inflation, record-high travel prices, flight disruptions and short-staffed hotels, it said in a January report.

Once people were able to travel after the pandemic, the pent-up demand for related services skyrocketed, STR said.

Up to 64 per cent of respondents to its survey said they expected to spend much more or slightly more on accommodation when travelling.

Jumeirah Group operates a 6,500-key portfolio of 26 luxury properties across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, with flagship properties including the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah resort in Dubai, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi and the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel in Kuwait.

The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. Unsplash

It is also expanding in the luxury serviced residences segment, and in August 2022, unveiled its fourth branded residence in Dubai as part of the new Peninsula waterfront development.

The group's newly-acquired Le Richemond hotel, which was founded in 1875, has 87 rooms and 22 suites, according to the statement.

The property in Geneva is Jumeirah's fifth in Europe, joining the Carlton Tower Jumeirah, and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London, the Capri Palace Jumeirah in Italy and Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, Spain.

Jumeirah Group is the flagship hospitality company of Dubai Holding, a diversified global investment company with a portfolio of assets worth Dh130 billion ($35.4 billion) that has operations in 13 countries and employs more than 20,000 people.

Dubai Holding appointed Ms Giannouka as chief executive of Jumeirah Group in September 2022. She replaces Jose Silva, who held the role from March 2018.

Updated: February 06, 2023, 12:52 PM