UK hotel brand Premier Inn announces GCC expansion plans over next three years

Posted on 30th July 2014

UK-based economy hotel brand Premier Inn has revealed plans to open 30 properties in the Gulf region by 2020 as it looks to fill a gap in a market dominated by luxury accommodation. Its future plans include opening of big hotel projects such as the  372-key Premier Inn Ibn Battuta Mall, the 200-room Premier Inn Al Maktoum International Airport, the 215-key Premier Inn Dubai Healthcare City, and the 300-room Premier Inn Al Jadaf, according to reports in Hotelnewsnow.com.

The website quoted  Darroch Crawford, managing director of Premier Inn MEA, as saying the company was also working on "several other projects" in Dubai that are yet to be confirmed.The Premier Inn brand in the region, which is developed via a strategic partnership between the Emirates Group and the UK’s Whitbread, is one of a number of budget hotel companies that are looking to expand in Dubai which has set itself a target of attracting 20 million visitors by 2020, seven million more than 2013.

Crawford told the website: "There is still a tendency by investors in the region to develop luxury hotels, oblivious to the returns available from the economy sector in particular. There is no doubt that Dubai could sustain many more value-for-money hotels, the more high-quality, affordable rooms that are available, the more attractive Dubai will become to a wider guest base and able to achieve its ambitious growth targets.”

In May, it was reported that Dubai Inn, a new economy hotel brand created by a joint venture of Emaar Properties and Meraas Holding, will roll out its first phase of hotels in prime locations in the city later this year. Work on the first property will start shortly in the Zabeel area and is scheduled for completion in 2015. Under the agreement, an additional four properties will be added to the portfolio to collectively supply over 1,750 new hotel rooms and serviced residences to the hospitality sector.

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Five-star hotel rooms account for nearly 62 percent of the total branded hotel inventory in Dubai and nearly 50 percent of the upcoming inventory also in the upscale category. In April, Crawford said Premier Inn will open 14 hotels in the GCC over the next three years, with a property planned in Sharjah, Riyadh, Dammam, Jubail, Manama, two each in Muscat, Doha, and Jeddah, and three hotels in Dubai.

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