Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 5 May 2006
A Hotel So Big They Named It Twice
Twenty-Nine Hotels: Happiness In Any Language
The Bigger Easy: easyHotel Expands
Hotels By Any Other Name Would Not Smell As Sweet
Chelsea Signs Up Millennium & Copthorne
Rezidor SAS Lays Out Its Plans For The Middle East
Double Joy For Europa Group In Riga
What's On In Moscow
Scottish Estate Aims To Be Top Trump Golf Course
AC Hotels Makes It Eight In Italy
Starwood On Song In The Canaries

A Hotel So Big They Named It Twice
Asia-Asia is the name of what will be the world’s largest hotel. And the world’s largest hotel (it is to have 6,500 rooms) will stand among 30 other hotels within a 10 km² portion of the emirate of Dubai, thus making it part of the world’s largest concentration of hotels. Asia-Asia, as its name might suggest, is a themed hotel – one of 12 themed hotels (a total of 12,450 rooms) that will be developed specifically by Tatweer, the project manager and part of Dubai Holding. The remainder of the hotels (16,750 rooms) at the mixed-use Bawadi project will be built by outside investors. The eight-year project will cost around US$27 billion.

Twenty-Nine Hotels: Happiness In Any Language Return to Headlines
Saadiyat, which translates from Arabic as ‘happiness’, is the name of an island lying just off the coast of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The 500-metre stretch of water between mainland and island will soon be thronging with boats as Saadiyat becomes the focus of an extensive mixed-use tourist development. Tourism Development and Investment Company, a newly established subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, will be marshalling the shipping, which will be landing all the material necessary for the construction of 29 hotels (sharing 7,000 rooms between them and including in their number a ‘seven-star’ resort), two golf courses, 8,000 villas and 38,000 apartments. The project, which will be developed in three phases at a cost of around US$1.5 billion, should be finished in 2018.

The Bigger Easy: easyHotel Expands Return to Headlines
EasyHotel was launched in London in August 2005. Istithmar Hotels was launched by investment firm Istithmar only recently; budget brand and hotel investor have met in orbit and the pair are preparing for a spectacular splashdown that will wash in orange a total of 17 countries stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. Thirty-five of the total of 38 hotels planned will be in operation by the end of 2009, by which time India will have received its full quota of eight and the emirate of Dubai its allotted six. The next highest-scoring countries by the time the development process concludes in 2011 will be Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with three apiece. Istithmar Hotels will hold the master franchise on the hotels, each of which will have between 80 and 120 rooms.

Hotels By Any Other Name Would Not Smell As Sweet Return to Headlines
Shaza is the Arabic word for ‘fragrance’ and is the name of a new chain of five-star lifestyle hotels that will be developed over the next few years in the Middle East and North Africa. Guidance Financial Group (GFG) is reported to have established an investment vehicle that is ready to inject US$500 million into the project to build more than 20 of the properties in gateway cities across the two regions. GFG will be partnered in the venture by Kempinski Hotels.

Chelsea Signs Up Millennium & Copthorne Return to Headlines
Chelsea FC has a new ‘special one’ in the management field, and even Jose Mourinho may concede that Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) is his superior when it comes to the management of hotels. For M&C has been selected to operate the 275-room hotel at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground in southwest London. The hotel is actually a building of two halves. One portion (160 rooms) will pull on the Copthorne shirt and be known as the Copthorne Hotel at Chelsea Village. The 115 rooms in the second building will be known as the Millennium Hotel at Chelsea Village.

Rezidor SAS Lays Out Its Plans For The Middle East Return to Headlines
Take four hotel brands (Park Inn, Radisson SAS, Missoni and Regent), mix with 14 hotels and you have the basic recipe for Rezidor SAS Hospitality’s expansion plans in the Middle East for the next two years. A property of note is the Radisson SAS Residence, Pier 24: the first apartment project in Dubai to be operated by Rezidor SAS. The 142 luxury apartments will open their doors at the start of 2008. Followers of the Park Inn brand will be interested in the 200-room Park Inn, Muscat, which will give the brand its debut in Oman in 2008.

Double Joy For Europa Group In Riga Return to Headlines
Europa Group of Lithuania should finish the summer with its first two hotels in the Latvian capital Riga. The company has spent the last three years and a reported €10 million on the refurbishment of Benjamins House, which has now opened as the 60-room, four-star Europa Royale Riga. In July it will be the turn of the 147-room, three-star Europa City Riga to open, a hotel on which developer BBF Consulting has spent a reported €6.1 million.

What's On In Moscow Return to Headlines
Australian group PBL (Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd) has gaming and entertainment as one of its core businesses, and is one business that PBL might soon be exercising in Russia, according to reports. Crocus Group is extending its Crocus City Mall in Moscow with a casino that Crocus Group apparently wants PBL to manage together with a five-star hotel that also forms part of the extension, which is scheduled to open in 2007-08.

Scottish Estate Aims To Be Top Trump Golf Course Return to Headlines
The Trump Organization is ready to spend US$548 million on the creation of the best golf course in the world, at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, on the northeast coast of Scotland. The estate is no stranger to the golfing fraternity – surrounded as it is by courses – but the Trump International Golf Links, Scotland will doubtless be the one most golf buggies will be haring towards. Players will be able to relax in a 20,000 ft² clubhouse; caddies can swap stories in a 10,000 ft² conference centre; and all can press their checked trousers in a 450-room, five-star hotel.

AC Hotels Makes It Eight In Italy Return to Headlines
Spanish firm AC Hotels has added another property to its portfolio in Italy, taking its total hotel count in the country to eight. The latest arrival is the 126-room, four-star AC Vicenza in the northeastern city of Vicenza. AC Hotels’ compatriot Hotasa Hoteles has preferred to stay at home to supervise the opening of two freshly refurbished three-star properties. The island of Majorca has them both: the Aparthotel Eurocalas, which offers 275 studios and 119 apartments, and the 139-room Hotel Santa Fe.

Starwood On Song In The Canaries Return to Headlines
The month of May opened and so too did a 265-room hotel on the island of Fuerteventura. It was reported in 2004 that Spanish firm Anjoca was developing the €50 million property at its Fuerteventura Golf Resort complex. That hotel is now being managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts as the Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort, Canary Islands.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 27/04/06-04/05/06

InterContinental Hotels Group - Rumour spread across the market that private equity firm Permira was possibly planning a takeover bid.

De Vere Group - Analysts reportedly suggested De Vere Group as an alternative prospect for Permira.

NH Hoteles - Hotel stocks in general were affected by news of a slowdown in spending from tourists in Spain.