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Ascott has opened its first serviced apartments in Hamburg and Hangzhou, as well as a second Ascott-branded property in Jakarta.

The serviced apartment provider will also be launching its first property in Macau at the end of this year, while its second serviced residence offering in Dubai is slated to open in 2017.

It has also spent US$70 million rebranding The Mercer as Citadines Mercer Hong Kong.


Citadines Intime City Hangzhou

Citadines Intime City Hangzhou is located close to the city’s major business districts and attractions including the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

Hangzhou railway station is nearby, while Hangzhou East railway station is a 30-minute drive away and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International airport is an hour by car.

The 104-room property has apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms. It also offers amenities such as a gym, café, billiards room, self-service laundry, mini-cinema, children’s play area and breakfast lounge. Free wifi service is available in all rooms.

Citadines Michel Hamburg

Citadines Michel Hamburg

Citadines Michel Hamburg is situated in the city’s business district, a five-minute walk from the Rödingsmarkt metro station. Hamburg airport is a half-hour drive.

The property has 127 rooms, including studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, all with complimentary internet access. Each kitchen is equipped with modern appliances such as microwave oven, refrigerator and dishwasher.

Additional facilities range from breakfast lounge with free refreshments to a fitness room, business corner and meeting room.

Ascott opened its third Citadines Apart’hotel in Germany earlier this year (see news, February 14).


Ascott Kuningan Jakarta

Ascott Kuningan Jakarta is located in the city’s central business district, and is a part of Ciputra World 1, a large integrated development consisting of a Lotte Shopping Avenue, an Artpreneur Centre (a museum and art gallery cum theatre) and an office tower.

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the property by car from Soekama-Hatta International airport.

The 185 rooms are a mix of one, two and three bedrooms. There is a kitchen and separate living and dining area, LED TV, bathroom with bathtub and rain shower, and complimentary wifi service.

Facilities include a swimming pool, tennis, basketball and badminton courts, a gym, aerobics room, children’s playground, wading pool, garden terrace, café, resident’s lounge and meeting facilities.

Ascott purchased The Mercer in Hong Kong for US$70 million (HK$545 million), and rebranded the serviced apartment as Citadines Mercer Hong Kong. The revamped property offers 55 rooms ranging from 37 sqm to 63 sqm.

Ascott Macau will open at the end of this year and will be located in the centre of the city, a few minutes away from the Macau Ferry Terminal, Macau International airport and Taipa Island.


Ascott Macau

There will be 110 guest rooms, ranging from 30 sqm to 75 sqm. The kitchens in each room will be equipped with a capsule coffee machine, electric kettle, cutlery, microwave oven and refrigerator.

There will also be a gym, indoor heated and outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna room, resident’s lounge, and three restaurants serving Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisines.

The property will have scheduled shuttle bus services to the Macau Ferry Terminal, and resident programmes for guests


Ascott Culture Village Dubai will open in 2017 within the Dubai Culture Village along the shoreline of Dubai Creek.

The apartments will be near to retail and commercial developments including schools, art galleries, performing arts centres and restaurants. It will also be close to the city’s key business and leisure attractions.

There will be 117 rooms, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, with facilities including a swimming pool, gym and restaurant.


Ascott Culture Village Dubai

Lee Chee Koon, chief executive of the Ascott group, said: “In Dubai, there is a growing demand for luxury serviced residences.

“As our first property in the city, Ascott Park Place, has been achieving occupancies of over 80 per cent, having another premier Ascott-branded serviced residence will allow us to cater to the need for luxury serviced apartments and increase our presence in this cosmopolitan city.”


Emaar (EMAAR) Properties PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest publicly traded developer, plans to build a hotel in Dubai near Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, to capitalize on the city’s hospitality boom.
The hotel, which will be managed by Emaar’s Address chain, will include 200 rooms and 542 serviced apartments, Arif Amiri the company’s retail chief executive officer, told a press conference today.
“Our hotel occupancy in the area is around 90 percent all year long, which shows the strong demand for hospitality in Dubai,” Amiri said. “There is strong interest from investors in the Gulf, Russia, China and the Middle East.”
Hotels and malls are becoming the main source of earnings for Emaar as tourist arrivals to Dubai rose 10 percent to 9.3 million in 2011, according to tourism department data. The company derived 41 percent of its revenue from hotels and malls this year, compared with 24 percent in 2011. As Dubai’s airport passenger traffic rises, the company’s hotels and malls are benefiting from increased demand.
Initial financing for the project, which will be mainly raised by sales of serviced apartments before construction starts, has been “secured,” Amiri said. He declined to comment on the value of the project or the sale prices of the apartments. The sale of the project will start on Sept. 22.
The five-star hotel is Emaar’s sixth Address property in Dubai and will have 63-storys, with studios to three-bedroom apartments. Construction is expected to start soon and completion is set for early-to-mid 2015, he said. A contractor is yet to be appointed.
Dubai’s airport traffic rose 14 percent to a record 27.9 million in the first six months of 2012, the operator said in July. Economic growth, which relies on hospitality and trade for more than 33 percent of gross domestic product, is forecast to expand as much as 5 percent this year, according to the government.

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Dubai’s tourism industry achieved a 20 per cent jump in revenues to Dh16 billion last year due to a number of factors, including Arab Spring and the addition of new properties.
The emirate’s 575 hotels and serviced apartments catered to 9.30 million tourists last year, a growth of 10 per cent over the 8.49 million in 2010.
Of these, 7.26 million guests stayed in hotels, up from 6.56 million in 2010.
This reflects an increase in room rates as hotel occupancy stabilised at 74 per cent, said a latest report by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the tourism regulatory body.

Dubai’s tourism infrastructure coupled with the Arab Spring helped divert tourists traffic to Dubai.
“We have seen a 30 per cent increase in hotel rates in recent months,” Muin Serhan, general manager of the Millennium Plaza Hotel, told Gulf News.
“Of course, the Arab Spring has helped tourists to come to Dubai, and its world-class infrastructure has also helped attract visitors from the region.”
Guest nights rose 23 per cent to 32.84 million in 2011. Hotels contributed 23.26 million guest nights.
Hotel apartments experienced an increase of over two million guests, with these properties contributing 9.5 million guest nights last year against 7.5 million in 2010.
Similarly, the average length of stay stood at 3.6 days, up by 12 per cent over the previous year.
Gassan Aridi, chief executive of Alpha Tours, said, in addition to the Arab Spring, the long-term reputation of Dubai helped.
“There is a combination of factors for this growth. Dubai has a strong reputation as a leading tourism destination — that helped along with the Arab Spring,” he said.
“Besides, new tourism products and hotels have helped attract visitors, such as the Burj Khalifa and hotels in that neighbourhood.
He said room rates will stabilise. “There are a number of new hotels coming on line this year which will increase supplies.”
One of the key reasons for growth is the expansion of Emirates airline, which is the biggest supplier of hotel guests.
Emirates carries more than 34 million passengers a year, a significant number of whom stay in the hotels.
However, DTCM Director General Khalid Al Bin Sulayem said: “We have been successful in boosting the number of tourists to Dubai due to our initiatives to enhance our position in established markets and tap new and emerging tourism source markets.
“The substantial gains by hotels and hotel apartments reflect, once again, the vibrancy and dynamism of the tourism industry in the emirate.”
In 2011, Saudi Arabia emerged as the top source market for Dubai’s tourism industry with 873,152 guests, followed by India with 702,142, and British tourists with 643,196.
The number of tourists from Iran reached 476,708 and the US rose to 462,653.
Industry may face headwinds
Dubai: Despite attracting more tourists from the GCC and Asian countries last year, Dubai may expect some strong headwinds in the near future, analysts said.
“The year 2011 began with a marginal rebound in the GDP of developing economies with developed economies registering gradual growth. However, towards the end of the year, most developing economies in Asia including India and China reported a decline in GDP growth and lower GDP outlook for the year ahead. We may also expect sluggish growth in US and Europe due to various economic issues that need attention in 2012,” Sheetal Kothari, Research Analyst, Business and Financial Services Practice, Frost & Sullivan, told Gulf News.
“These circumstances of the global economy would exert a downward pressure on oil prices. On the other hand, increasing unrest due to the Iran-US standoff has the potential to push oil prices upward. The interplay of these factors increases the uncertainty in the outlook for oil prices. The outlook for UAE tourism is uncertain.”

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Millennium & Copthorne, one of the world’s largest owned-and-managed hotel companies with more than 120 hotels across 20 countries, has revealed it will be making its first mark on the deluxe serviced apartments sector when it opens a modern and stylish property in the popular Dubai Marina area in the coming six months.

Once open, this Marina Promenade property will boast 151 spacious and contemporary serviced apartments, comprising 91 one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom, 13 three-bedroom units, two penthouse apartments and eight villas. The serviced apartments cater to professionals and families attracted to a range of nearby shopping, dining and entertainment venues. With a spa, health club and two swimming pools for guests, the serviced apartments are expected to appeal to both long term residents and short term leisure and business travelers. The project, currently under development by owner ARJ Properties, is expected to enter its soft opening phase in Q2, 2012.

Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President and CEO of Millennium & Copthorne Middle East and Africa, commented: “We are delighted to bring one of our brands to this desirable area of Dubai. The entire development is of the high quality standard our guests expect from a Millennium & Copthorne property and it is the perfect vehicle for our first foray into the serviced apartments arena in the region. Bringing together excellence in service, value and location, we foresee a good level of demand from the start.”

Maa’n Nassereddine, Executive Director, ARJ Properties, said: “Millennium & Copthorne is well known for its experience and expertise in the hospitality sector, delivering returns for its owners without compromising on its trademark quality for guests. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with its dedicated team.”