Kempinski getting bullish in the ME, Bani Yas on track

A seaward view of the impressive Bani Yas Palace

EUROPEAN luxury hotel group, Kempinski Hotels & Resorts will add 10 new properties to its existing four hotels in Africa and the Middle East, said Christopher Hartley, Kempinski senior vice-president, sales and marketing.

Kempinski already manages two deluxe resorts in the Arabian Gulf, the Ajman Kempinski Hotel & Resort, opened in October 1998, and the Kempinski Julai'a Hotel & Resort in Kuwait, opened February 2003.
However, the jewel in Kempinski’s Middle Eastern crown will be the landmark Bani Yas Palace in Abu Dhabi, set to open by the end of the year. Incorporating design elements from traditional Arabian palaces and located on 1.3km of sandy beach, the hotel will house upscale MICE facilities, two spas, 390 rooms and suites combining luxury and technology, and 28 F&B outlets.
“Our vision is to place Abu Dhabi as a destination on the conference map,” said Willy Optekamp, general manager of the Bani Yas Palace. “The hotel will help Abu Dhabi gain by $60-80 million in infrastracture by attracting larger conferences.”
The brand was recently awarded the management contract for its first hotel in Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates. Scheduled to open late 2005, it will feature over 400 deluxe guest units and ski chalets at the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort.
The brand will also host two hotels in Jordan, the Kempinski Hotel Amman opening this year, and the Kempinski Ishtar Resort Hotel and Spa on the Dead Sea currently under construction.
Other projects in the region include two properties each in Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar) and Egypt (the Red Sea and Cairo). More regional properties are being negotiated in Fujairah Dubai and Beirut.