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Taj Hotels eye Middle East expansion over next decade – Khaleej Times

Sunday, Apr 10, 2022 | Ramadan 9, 1443
Published: Sat 9 Apr 2022, 3:26 PM
Last updated: Sat 9 Apr 2022, 3:29 PM
India’s largest hospitality group Taj Hotels has revealed plans of launching 15 hotels in the next 10 years, which include at least 5 new properties in Dubai alone. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer of The Indian Hotels Company Limited, shared their plans on the sidelines of the official launch ceremony of the new Taj Exotica Resort & Spa located on the Palm Jumeirah.
Chhatwal further added that all of the upcoming 15 properties would carry the brand name of ‘Taj’ in a bid to cement their position as, “South Asia’s most iconic and the most profitable hospitality company.”
Commenting on the upcoming resorts, Chhatwal further added, “In Dubai our next hotel will be the at the Deira Waterfront and following that will be next project which ins under development in the holy city of Makkah. We are looking at several destinations in Saudi Arabia and in Doha, Qatar.”
Located on the East Crescent of the Palm Jumeirah, the 325-key property has become the first in the Middle East to carry the branding of their flagship collection ‘Exotica’ and the hospitality group’s fourth property after Maldives, Andamans and Goa.
Recent industry reports from global consultancy CBRE recorded 16.8 per cent increase in occupancy rates during the first 10 months of 2021, and the hospitality group is hoping to bank on the demand after the conclusion of Expo 2020 Dubai. The hospitality executive credits the wave of optimism in the industry to the UAE’s resilience during the pandemic and the right strategy of attracting international visitors.
“Dubai is among the top five travel leisure business-pleasure destinations of the world. Occupanices have remained high because of all of the privileges that Dubai has to offer. It has stood out in terms of demonstrating resilience, which is the most assuring factor for any brand, any business in the world to be present in Dubai,” said Chhatwal.
Describing the Expo as a catalyst, Chhatwal believes that the emirate’s status as a business and leisure destination has been further elevated. Aside from offering Indian hospitality, the newly launched property, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, is expected to cater to the expected increased demand from of hosting destination weddings, regional conferences and leisure travellers.
Chhatwal has been at the helm of the Tata group’s hospitality division for over four and a half years and remains optimistic about the Taj Hotel brand’s Indian legacy. Commenting on the competition from when other international properties on the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, Chhatwal said that they are combining the, “East and the West in the service delivery, in their ethos and patterns of hospitality.”
The label of an Indian brand is not going to impact their regional expansion when it comes to attracting international holidaymakers. Chhatwal elaborated on the popularity of Indian hospitality offerings and said, “it’s not just how we are going to carry its Indian legacy. It’s our obligation to carry this culture, this journey, and take it to a higher and higher level as years go by.” [email protected]
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