Dubai's Jumeirah delays first China hotel

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Jan 23 Dubai-based Jumeirah has delayed plans to open a first hotel in China due to the tough financial climate and slowdown in business travellers to the world's fastest growing major economy, hotel industry sources said on Friday.

Jumeirah, one of the world's top luxury hotel operators, missed its original target to open the planned 338-room Jumeirah Han Tang Xintiandi Hotel in downtown Shanghai in late 2008.

Jumeirah manages 11 hotels for investors -- eight in Dubai, including the sail-shaped Burj al-Arab hotel.
The company has now re-scheduled the launch of its Shanghai hotel to late this year, Aslada Gu from Upstream Asia, which handles media relations for Jumeirah in China, said in an email in response to inquiries from Reuters.

The controlling shareholder of the Jumeirah Han Tang project is Leo Investment, a real estate-focused investment firm run by businessman Leo Koguan, and Hong Kong developer Shui On Group is a minority shareholder with a 15 percent stake in the project, said Brenda Yau, a Shui On spokeswoman.

"Unavoidably, the financial and property markets are currently affected by the worldwide economic meltdown," Yau said.

But she also said Shui On sees expansion opportunities in tough times through consolidation of resources and efficiencies.

"We strive to delve even deeper into the design and quality of our projects, and get prepared for launch when the market accelerates again," she said.

Jumeirah does not own a stake in the Shanghai hotel project but is hired by investors, including Leo Koguan and Shui On, to manage the hotel.

The number of overseas travellers visiting China in September fell 5.9 percent from a year earlier, in part due to the global financial crisis, the National Tourism Administration said.

Many multinational companies have been forced to tighten their belts to save costs amid the crisis, hitting the hotel and travel industries hard and causing property markets to decline.


1 comment:

Mohit Jain said...

Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Dubai's Financial Advisory Council and Emaar Properties, believes the fall in property prices in the emirate will average 20 per cent. He said the Dubai Government was handling the real estate situation by studying projects that would be canceled or postponed or were continuing and would take appropriate action.

Dubai Properties