LEADING Bahrain-based hotel-apartments chain, the Elite Group, is set to expand into Dubai next year, executive director Ninad Shah told TTN.
Having captured the Bahrain market, the group has plans to go global, with two properties set for Dubai in 2008. “We have expanded rapidly in the last five years, achieving an average growth of 35 per cent year-on-year in the inventory of room keys as well as in our annual revenues. We shall consolidate and reinforce our infrastructure to bring it in line with our plan to go international,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, it is fully geared to provide a memorable welcome to the Formula One guests. “We believe in providing inspired lifestyles and keeping every need of the guest in mind, we have developed the hotel-apartment concept where we can provide larger floor space and multiple room units with the comforts of a home. These are complemented with all the facilities and services that a deluxe hotel provides,” said Shah.
Elite is planning to put up a variety of activities for the F1 guests in April, including a special welcome; special amenities placed in rooms on a daily basis; a fleet of deluxe limos; poolside barbeque parties at Elite Grande; a special evening at the newly opened Arabic-themed tent in Elite Seef Residence and lavish buffets for all F1 guests.
Elite Group has seen remarkable growth in recent years. Started as an apartment business, the group has moved to ‘hotel-apartments’ and today manages 11 properties including three deluxe hotels, which are all four-star, and eight luxurious serviced apartment complexes.
“We pioneered the business of luxuriously furnished and serviced apartments with modern facilities in Bahrain,” said Shah proudly. “Over the last decade, the Elite Group has evolved into a well balanced company in the hospitality services.”
Business has been booming for Elite with Bahrain receiving an increased number of visitors. “We did an average occupancy of 84 per cent group-wide last year. We added one large hotel in August 2006, and are ready to launch yet another deluxe hotel in April 2007, thereby increasing the inventory of keys in the group by almost 30 per cent within a span of 10 months,” said Shah. The new property located at the Shaikh Hamad Causeway will have 160 units.
Shah said the group’s thrust area this year will be the development of its food and beverages division as well as the Health Club and Spa services. “We have augmented our infrastructure, as well as recruited professionals of a high caliber to ensure that the high standards of services are maintained. We are also investing in a large in-house training set-up.”
Shah is bullish about the Bahrain market and its booming business. “We have shown our confidence and belief in Bahrain and its potential as an investment and tourism destination by launching two large deluxe hotels within one year. I would say Bahrain is a safe and steady market. The leadership is closely monitoring the new-look tourism promotion embarked upon by the Ministry. I am personally very confident on the growth of tourism in Bahrain. The future is good, clean family and leisure tourism business,” he said.
He also adds that more needs to be done to make Bahrain appeal to this segment. “We must have more avenues for recreation and entertainment for families and children. Millions of people in Europe travel every year seeking some sun, sand and surf. We need to develop all these and have international sports activities including water sports – and our new will offer a variety of these.”
Elite also plans to launch its Professional Management Services and franchising ventures in GCC next year.
by Sreekrishna Bhat
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