Andrew Shaw and Boon Kwee Lim at the 24th Arabian Travel Market. Andrew Shaw and Boon Kwee Lim at the 24th Arabian Travel Market.

Dusit International’s regional pipeline has increased over the last 12 months, according to the company’s assistant vice president - development EMEA at Dusit Hotels & Resorts Andrew Shaw.

“We have nine properties in the region, and on a global basis we have 51 in the pipeline. Within the next two to three years we should have 70 operating properties across 20 countries. At the moment we have 29 operating hotels across eight countries,” Shaw said.

Meanwhile, Dusit International COO Boon Kwee Lim is confident of surpassing the 100 property mark. “We are looking at having 120 projects [operating and in pipeline] in the next five years from the existing number of 80 properties. It is achievable,” he said.

Dusit is scheduled to open new hotels in Bhutan and Singapore next year, along with a hotel and residences project in Doha. “These are three key hotels in capital cities,” Lim added clarifying the Abu Dhabi-bound D2 will also open next year. “The conversion of the D2 in Abu Dhabi will most probably be completed by next year, the hotel is currently operational. Although the Dusit Thani in Jeddah will be delayed,” he said.

Lim added: “On the whole we have seen growth over the last 12 months because we have added new hotels, not only in Thailand but also in the Middle East. The incident of the King passing away in Thailand also impacted our business, which dampened the demand a little bit particularly for the domestic market.

“If you look at brands within South East Asia, we are probably one of the brands that has grown in terms of signing the most properties in 2016. Last year, including China, we signed about 12 hotels – which includes a Dusit Princess for Dubai and another property for Istanbul as well,” Lim said.

Commenting on the possible slowdown of projects in the Kingdom, Shaw said: “A lot has impacted the bank’s appetite to lend, especially in Saudi Arabia. The banks are only lending for commercial – office and industrial and financing [of hospitality projects] is an issue for some owners in KSA.”

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