Since assuming the role of chief operating officer five years ago, David Grant Thomson’s number one goal, as he tells it, has been “to see JA Resorts & Hotels clearly defined as a brand”. After spearheading the rebranding of Jebel Ali International Hotels to JA Resorts & Hotels in 2012, Thomson has been chiefly occupied with overseeing the group’s brand campaign.
“My vision for [the company] has got us to the point where we have a brand that is meaningful and encapsulates what JA Resorts & Hotels is. We are ‘heartfelt hospitality’ and ‘casual luxury’, and this is something I embody every day. I truly believe that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” Thomson says, adding: “Our strength in the market is due to our diverse portfolio that caters for all holidaymakers with our family, luxury, serviced-apartment, and private island offerings.”
While the group’s number of operating hotels in the Middle East and Africa has remained flat at five, two of the properties in the UAE, JA Hatta Fort Hotel and JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, have undergone modernisation and expansion in the last year. The company has also added two properties to its Middle East pipeline – a 350-key property and a 20-villa property. The proposed location and other details of these new additions are yet to be announced, however.