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Dusit International showcases Middle East expansion plans at Dubai travel mart

Dusit International, a leading Asian hospitality group, continues to promote its "Year of Expansion" at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai from yesterday to Thursday.

The company aims to more than double its portfolio of 17 international properties, including two serviced apartment complexes in the Middle East, over five years with a strong focus on that region.

Thierry Douin this year was appointed regional vice president in a move that the company says shows its commitment to strengthening its presence in the Middle East, after having begun operations there more than a decade ago. Douin will oversee the company's expansion efforts, drive operating performance and supervise the opening of hotels from the Dubai regional office.

Coinciding with the ATM this year is the opening of Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, a contemporary hotel and convention centre for the business traveller. Strategically located in the new business and government district, the complex is only 20 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The company says the hotel features unique facilities to provide the discerning traveller with the perfect city destination. There are 402 hotel rooms and 132 deluxe serviced apartments. The dining outlets range from Royal Thai cuisine to contemporary bistro fare. The hotel even boasts the third-largest atrium in the world. Its conference centre can host up to 2,000 guests and is complemented by a glass-panelled Skydome.

Besides the United Arab Emirates, other locations in the region slotted for future development are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

In China, Dusit recently signed a 10-project joint venture agreement with a local partner. The cities targeted over five years are Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing and Hainan.

In Thailand, the company will launch a hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima's Khao Yai area next year. The property benefits from being adjacent to Khao Yai National Park, a World Heritage Site.

The company's first hotel in sub-Saharan Africa will be the dusitD2 Nairobi in Kenya. Located within an exclusive development complex, the hotel will bring a mix of all-day dining outlets, meeting facilities, a spa and terrace bar to a neighbourhood of high-end residences, universities, government offices and embassies.

The property will be supported by the Dubai regional office, whose responsibilities have been expanded to cover East Africa, where the company hopes to develop projects in the future.

"This is a time of unprecedented growth for our company," David Shackleton, chief operating officer, said yesterday.

"We have brought together a great team of industry professionals to bring these plans to fruition, and ATM Dubai is a fitting platform to share this news with our trade partners. We are taking the Dusit brand to new locations and are excited about our expansion plans."


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