Hotels Al Sondos Suites targets new markets November 2003 336 The exterior of the Al Sondos. Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien has launched an aggressive drive to target new markets to meet ambitious budget predictions for 2004. The all-suite property, already one of the best performing properties in the group’s Middle East portfolio, has fully recovered its deficit from unfavourable market conditions earlier this year, and is on course to finish 2003 ahead of targets.General manager Naif Zureikat said: “It’s no secret that the Dubai hotels suffered significant setbacks in the first six months of this year, due to reduced inbound traffic because of the political situation.“However, we registered occupancy levels of 84 per cent in July, 90 per cent in August and 85 per cent in September - the traditionally quiet season - which has seen us climb beyond our targets for the year to date.“We are confident this growth will continue, and have forecast a further 6 per cent occupancy for 2004, as well as a 16 per cent increase in revenue.”The property’s management has targeted new markets to make up this increase, and is undertaking roadshows to India, Turkey, Russia and London in the next two months.Zureikat explained: “There has been a tremendous demand for our product from the GCC and we have made a conscious effort to target our marketing strategy to appeal to these countries - and that is paying off. “Our sales and marketing activities have concentrated on the GCC until now: repeat business from this area has been the backbone of our business. “However, now is the time to look to new markets for both Al Sondos Suites and its sister property, Le Meridien Dar al Sondos, which has just opened under the Le Meridien name following extensive refurbishment.”Al Sondos Suites by Le Meridien is an all-suite, 11-storey building located opposite Deira City Centre in the downtown business and shopping district of Dubai. With just 106 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites, the hotel twins management efficiencies with an intimate atmosphere, a combination that appeals to short-term visitors as well as guests staying for longer periods who look for a base in Dubai.