Group aims to double hotels


Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will make a debut at this year's Arabian Travel Market to increase awareness of its expansion in the Middle Eastern market.

Shangri-La recently announced two new hotels in Dubai and Oman as part of its plan to double the number of its hotels by 2005.

"This will be the first time that we have exhibited at the Arabian Travel Market and this move has been inspired by our expansion into the Middle East in terms of properties," said Helen Oakeley, the company's director of public relations, Europe.

"Clearly our reason for participation this year is because of our new properties.

"The show is extremely important, well established and respected and the ideal opportunity for us to increase awareness in the Middle Eastern market of our expansion into the area."

The two new hotels for which Shangri-La signed management contracts recently are the 714-room Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort in Muscat, Oman which will open in mid-2004 as a world-class destination resort and the 210-bedroom Traders Hotel, Dubai which will open early 2003.

Both hotel projects will be developed by the Muscat-based Zubair Corporation.

Located south of Muscat, the new Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort will be a fully integrated resort consisting of three hotels aimed at different luxury markets with all rooms and suites having sea views and balconies.

There will be a selection of deluxe villas, a conference centre and a ballroom accommodating up to 800 people, as well as a heritage village consisting of retail outlets and eight restaurants.

The resort which will reflect the distinctive Omani/Arab architecture, will have its own private beach, a luxurious exclusive spa with a range of treatments, five fresh and salt water swimming pools, five tennis courts and a fitness centre.

Boating, diving and water sports will also be available.

Located near the Dubai International Airport and the business district, the Traders Hotel will be the sixth in the group's growing Traders brand launched in 1989.

It will join hotels in Beijing and Shenyang, China; Yangon, Mynamar; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.

This will be the second Shangri-La hotel in Dubai following the opening of the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai at the end of 2002.