Thailand’s Dusit International plans to open a hotel in Bahrain this year and three in Oman in 2020-2021 as part of its regional expansion plans, company officials said at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on Sunday.
In an interview with Arabian Business on the sidelines of the event, Dusit International group COO Boon Kwee Lim said that the company hopes the dusitD2 City Centre Bahrain will open by the end of Q4.
“It’s very near the Ritz-Carlton and overlooking the ocean. The hotel will have 260 rooms. It’s not a small hotel and will have three restaurants,” he said. “Also, we have meeting facilities.”
The hotel, he added, will cater primarily to business travelers as well as to Saudi tourists.
“For leisure, generally, we’ll rely on the Saudi market. There’s a tremendous amount of Saudi traffic,” he said. “But business is what is required. The meetings business will be very, very important.”
Additionally, Dust International plans to open three hotels in Oman, in Muscat, Salalah and Jebal Akhdar.
“These [will open] in minimum two years time,” Kwee Lim said. “We are excited about entering Oman. The country offers a lot, both in terms in inbound travelers and the local community.”
In Dubai, Dusit International last week signed a franchise agreement with Al Masar Hotel Management to upgrade the former Dusit Residence Dubai Marina to the Dusit Princess Residences Dubai Marina.
The 146-key property is currently being refurbished and will include serviced apartments, holiday homes, and residential units with a choice of one, two, or three-bedroom configurations.
In addition to the Dusit Princess Residences, the company operates the Dusit Thani Dubai, the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, and the dusitD2 Kenz Dubai.
Middle Eastern travelers
The company’s CEO, Suphajee Suthumpun, told Arabian Business that the company sees Middle Eastern travelers as a “very important” part of its overall business in the region.
“That’s both inbound and outbound travelers,” she said. “Welcoming customers from the Middle East is a focus.”
In Dubai, she said that the brand has performed “quite well” in terms of occupancy rates when compared to its competitors, with occupancy rates hovering at nearly 90 percent.
“The pressure that we see is on room rates,” she added. “There is quite a lot of supply coming in as we speak, something like 20,000 new rooms. That pressures the price point. But we are quite pleased and satisfied with our properties here.”
Around the world, Dusit International operates 31 hotels and resorts across 10 countries, with plans to open 10-12 annually between now and 2022.