The Seven Tides CEO is poised to introduce the Dukes hotel brand to the middle east region.
Abdulla Bin Sulayem, CEO of real estate and hotel developer Seven Tides, is steering the company into new waters. As announced in April 2015 in Hotelier, the firm will evolve into a property operator with the opening of the Dukes Oceana, located on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah.
When opened, the five-star property will boast 273 rooms plus 227 keys housed in an adjacent serviced apartment building.
“Seven Tides currently [has] a very successful relationship with the likes of Minor Hotel Group,” says Bin Sulayem. “However moving forward the company will start to operate properties itself, bringing additional flexibility to the operation,” he adds.
Seven Tides plans to develop other resorts both in the UAE and internationally. The firm already owns the Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Mövenpick Hotel Deira and Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Dubai, as well as the 90-key Dukes Hotel in London. Mid-term plans ‘could’ include adding properties in London and elsewhere in Europe.
“The three-star market also holds a lot of opportunity and this is an area of big potential and something the company will look to capitalise upon going forward,” adds Bin Sulayem.
Close attention to detail has been at the core of Seven Tides’ recent success. Bin Sulayem is closely involved in managing the day-to-day operations, in particular the firm’s new projects. Bin Sulayem’s ‘hands on’ management style means that he regularly undertakes site visits, reviews activity plans and even signs off furniture designs.
His oversight will be needed when Seven Tides attempts to recreate the boutique feeling of the 90-room Dukes Hotel in London on the Palm Jumeirah. Although Dukes Oceana is three times the size of its sister property, it will retain the ‘quintessentially British’ style it is famed for, promises Bin Sulayem.
Rapid growth has been accompanied by financial success. According to Bin Sulayem, the firm has regularly exceeded budget expectations by making sure that “each and every asset” is closely monitored.
“I have closely followed the career of fellow hotelier and entrepreneur, Bill Heinecke, chairman and CEO of Minor International, a firm he started from scratch, and which has 120 hotels globally under such brands as Four Seasons, Marriott, St. Regis and Anantara”