Royal Group set to operate 1000 rooms

Royal Palace Hotel Apartments in Al Qusais

THE Royal Palace Hotel Apartments (RPH) is a relatively new entrant in the hospitality Industry in the UAE, having begun taking guests at the end of 2005 – but the company is set to multiply its rooms inventory by a factor of ten, and it is expected to control about 1000 rooms in the UAE by the end of this year.

The group is also in the process of rebranding its operations. All the properties will be consolidated and operated under Single Brand, ArunKumar(C.A. Kumar), Royal Group operations manager, Hospitality Division, told TTN. Excerpts from an interview:

Tell us about your expansion plans for 2007?
The group currently operates three properties, one in Dubai and two in Ajman. The Royal Group currently operates in the hotel apartments and four-star hotel segments. By the end of 2007, we will have another 1000 rooms in the UAE. Our first property in Ajman, with 60 apartments, is due for a soft opening in May 2007. Another property in Ajman, with 74 keys, will be ready by Eid this year, and we have a 340-room property opening by the Ajman Corniche.
And there is a four-star Holiday Inn property in Ernakulam, Kerala.
We hope to eventually continue our expansion plans across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Fujairah too, though not in the immediate future.

What major source markets are you looking at?
The region has always been our main source market, primarily Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Lebanon and Iran. We also have a large number of European guests but are now also looking at attracting guests from the sub-continent.

What are your occupancy rates like?
In Dubai, we have had almost 85 per cent occupancy for 2006. Ajman too, has seen almost 95 per cent occupancy. We are expecting similar Occupancy in 2007 too.