India's Samana Global eyes hotel projects in UAE, Saudi Arabia

Samana says will fund its Gulf expansion partly using proceeds from its $560m Alternative Investment Fund

The group will fund its expansions in the hospitality sector partly using proceeds from its $560 million Alternative Investment Fund
The group will fund its expansions in the hospitality sector partly using proceeds from its $560 million Alternative Investment Fund

Samana Global Services is on the lookout for upscale hotel projects in Dubai, Sharjah and Saudi Arabia as part of a major plan to expand its hospitality business in the Middle East, a top executive of the group has said, according to Arabian Business.

The hospitality and retail arm of the Indian multi-business group Samana Global Business Solutions is also eyeing hotel projects in the southeast Asia and Indian Ocean regions as part of its ambitious plans.

“We are quite bullish about UAE and Saudi Arabia for our expansion plans in the hospitality business and are in talks for acquiring hotel projects in Dubai, Sharjah, Oman and Saudi Arabia currently,” Vinay Nair, chief operating officer of Samana Global Services, told Arabian Business.

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Though the group’s preference is to acquire management contracts for 5-star hotel projects, we are also open to other options like joint development or acquisition of properties for hotel projects, Nair added.

The group will fund its expansions in the hospitality sector partly using proceeds from its $560 million Alternative Investment Fund, launched in Abu Dhabi and India December last year, he added.

Samana Global, which already runs a hotel in Riyadh, is currently in talks with the promoters of the hotel property to acquire a second hotel project in the Saudi Kingdom.

“The talks are on (with the promoters of the Saudi hotel property) but nothing has been finalized yet,” he said.

Nair said the group was also open to having hotels in the Red Sea area which the Saudi Government is currently developing as a major tourist attraction with full fledged hotel and recreation facilities. “We are still studying the opportunities in this area”, he said.

Samana Global also runs high-end hotels in Trivandrum and Calicut in Kerala. The group runs its hotels under the brand name Apollo Dimora.

“We are aggressively pursuing opportunities (in the hospitality segment) in the Middle East region as we have set a target of achieving 1,000-rooms by next year. We are hopeful of achieving this target,” Nair said.

Nair said the decision to lookout for hotel projects in the Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean region also is part of the group’s strategy to not only achieve the target (of 1,000 rooms) but go beyond it.

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