HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 16 May 2008

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa

IHG To Have Its First Hotel In Syria

The InterContinental Damascus is to be InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) first hotel in Syria. The 370-room hotel, which will be part of a mixed-use development in the Syrian capital Damascus, should be ready in 2010. The development is in the hands of MAK Hotel Holdings, which is part of the Kuwaiti firm MA Kharafi Group.

Ibis Hotel, Take One. And…Action!

The Ibis Ras al Khaimah (an Action Hotels production) is guaranteed to be a star when it makes its expected debut in the first quarter of 2011; for the hotel will be the first internationally branded budget hotel to appear in the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. Accor has signed a management agreement on the 180-room hotel with Action Hotels, a subsidiary of Action Group Holdings.

Millennium & Copthorne Tucks Into Medina

This week’s sequence of firsts in the Middle East is completed by Millennium & Copthorne (M&C), which has set in motion the establishment of its first hotel in Saudi Arabia. M&C has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mr Tawfiq Al-Jarrah covering the Dar Al Medina Millennium Hotel & Apartments, which is set to open in 2010 in the city of Medina. The property will have 300 guest rooms and 1,000 apartments.

St. Regis Comes Marching In To Saadiyat Island

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is the latest hotel company to show an interest in Saadiyat Island. Carrying the St. Regis brand on its back, the company paddled across the 500 metres of water separating the project from the coast of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The five-star St. Regis Hotel & Residences Saadiyat Island, which will have 380 guest rooms and 280 apartments, is set to open towards the end of 2009. Saadiyat Island was inaugurated two years ago by Tourism Development & Investment Company. By the time work is fully finished in 2018, the island should be bearing the weight of 29 hotels.

New Resort To Arrive Next To The Kingdom Of Sheba

IFA Hotels & Resorts wants to extend its development the Kingdom of Sheba. To do this, it has turned for a second time to Nakheel on whose development The Palm, Jumeirah the Kingdom of Sheba lies. The joint venture has acquired two plots of land adjacent to the Kingdom of Sheba that cover a combined area of roughly 1 million ft² on the crescent of The Palm, Jumeirah in the emirate of Dubai. The new resort that is to be built is valued at a reported US$1 billion.

Arora To Take The Operating Lease On The Mercure London Gatwick

The twenty-third of May – a date for your 2008 diary. Perhaps you were planning to wash the dog or iron the cat that day. Well, cast aside those plans. For true fulfilment you need to get yourself over to Gatwick airport on the appointed day to witness Arora International Hotels buy the operating lease on the Renaissance London Gatwick Hotel from Hotel Property Investors. Arora Family Trust already owns the 254-room hotel, which is to be operated by Arora Hotels from 23 May as the Mercure London Gatwick. The hotel is to be extensively refurbished. Meanwhile, Surinder Arora and his team are busy putting the final touches to their new 600-room Sofitel hotel at London Heathrow's Terminal 5 and the hotel is scheduled to open shortly.

Stake In The Regency Jerusalem To Be Sold

The Israeli press reports that the individuals who control the majority of the shares in the Regency Jerusalem Hotel have signed a memorandum of understanding to sell a stake of 44% in the hotel to an unnamed buyer for a reported US$15 million. The 503-room, five-star hotel in the city of Jerusalem once knew what it was to have the Hyatt flag up against its pole.

Home Properties Gets More Buildings On Gotland

Visby is a port on the Swedish island of Gotland. And in that port you will find the 134-room Clarion Hotel Wisby. (Wisby is an alternative way of spelling the name of the town.) Home Properties, the owner of the hotel, has spelled out its plans for expanding the hotel by around 70 rooms. The company has paid GE Real Estate around SKr33 million (€3.5 million) for two adjacent buildings occupying a total area of some 3,300 m².

Von Tourist Trapp

Fans of The Sound of Music can add to their list of favourite things this July when the former home of the real-life von Trapp family is reborn as the Villa Trapp hotel. The 14-room hotel is just outside the Austrian city of Salzburg. Cinema-goers who prefer Zulu will be more interested in a hotel that a Mr Charles Aikenhead has planned at the site of the battle of Rorke’s Drift, in South Africa. Newly arrived guests will perhaps be encouraged to mass on the skyline before charging down the hill towards the property. And there might well be a massacre when they find out that the hotel has room for only 60 of them.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 8-15 May 2008

InterContinental Hotels Group - There was takeover talk involving an unnamed Indian investor towards the end of last week. These rumours helped the share price to recover earlier losses.

Whitbread - The share price fell on profit-taking.

Accor - Goldman Sachs cut its rating from 'Buy' to 'Neutral' but kept its target price at €54.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel.

Russell Kett, Managing Director rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
Hadrien Pujol, Director hpujol@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Search cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com