CITYMAX COO MAKES THE CASE FOR SUCCESS POST-EXPO 2020 IN THE DUBAI HOTEL SECTOR

Speaking at the recent Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit (GIOHIS 2018), COO of Citymax Hotels Russel Sharpe outlined opportunities for development in Dubai despite the continued expansion of the emirate’s hotel stock – but stressed hoteliers would need to be ‘creative’ to stimulate demand post-Expo 2020.

Speaking at the recent Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit (GIOHIS 2018), COO of Citymax Hotels Russel Sharpe outlined opportunities for development in Dubai despite the continued expansion of the emirate’s hotel stock – but stressed hoteliers would need to be ‘creative’ to stimulate demand post-Expo 2020.

During a debate on whether Dubai was in danger of being overbuilt and offering limited return on investment for hoteliers, Mr Sharpe said Expo 2020 was a showcase for the emirate that would attract a huge influx of visitors in that year: “Post event, a high-level strategic plan has to be developed to preserve the legacy and capitalize on facilities of the District 2020 site, for instance.”

Delegates at the GIOHIS summit heard that Dubai currently has the largest hotel room pipeline of any city in the world, with consultancy STR estimating this total at more than 50,000 rooms, growing from less than 100,000 at the end of 2017.

With more than 50 per cent of planned rooms in the upscale sector, Mr Sharpe identified further opportunities for midscale hotels, citing the experience of Citymax which has been a success in the competitive three-star market since its launch in 2010 with two Dubai properties at a time when there was a gap in the market for quality mid-range hotels.

He said the Dubai market was continually evolving and maturing, offering a good mix of deluxe hospitality products as well as more affordable accommodation to suit all sectors: “The hospitality industry as a whole has a key role to play in the provision of creative ideas and solutions that will be essential post-Expo 2020.”