Taj group unveils plans for major regional expansion
The Taj Group of Hotels has unveiled a major Middle East expansion strategy, which includes the setting up of a regional office in Dubai.The group, which currently operates properties in Dubai, Yemen and Oman, says it is looking to position itself throughout the Middle East as a brand offering superior luxury and sophistication. The expansion is to be highlighted at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2002, which will be held at Airport Expo Dubai in May this year. At the show, the 5-star Taj Palace Hotel Dubai is also planning to launch 'The Taj Club Dubai' executive floors. Taj says despite the downturn in the international travel industry, it is pressing ahead with its regional expansion. Construction of the Taj Towers starts in March this year followed by expansion in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and other areas of the Middle East. "The Middle East will continue to propel to greater heights, because of the outward vision of the UAE leaders as well as the drive of various GCC governments", said Yannick Poupon, general manager of the Taj Palace Hotel Dubai. A hotel spokesperson also said its business customers had largely shielded Taj Palace from a major impact in terms of revenues last year. The spokesperson said the hotel also does not see last September events in the US having an impact on the popular Dubai Shopping Festival in March. Taj Palace has lined up Food Festival promotions in all four of its specialty restaurants - Handi (Indian), Verdi (Italian), Topkapi (Turkish) and Sakura (Japanese restaurant). It will also be offering discounts on room rates as part sponsor of the DSF events under the DTCM promotions. "Our Ayoma Spa (Ayurvedic spa) will be offering special discounts on certain spa treatments and we'll be delighted to offer our loyalty members and bookers more chances to earn rewards during DSF," said the spokesperson. Located in the heart of Deira, Taj Palace offers 159 rooms as well as 90 fully serviced apartments.