Another new entry on this year’s list, Anthony Ross joined Dubai-based JA Resorts & Hotels in January this year as the group’s new CEO. The Australian hotelier has more than 30 years’ industry experience, spanning roles on multiple continents.
In his new role, Ross leads a team of more than 2000 associates across Dubai, Seychelles and the Maldives.
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. The group also operates two hotels outside the UAE – JA Manafaru in Maldives, and JA Enchanted Island Resort in Seychelles.
JA Resorts is expected to announce plans soon for a new property — JA Lake View Hotel — which will add 348 rooms to the group’s portfolio and is expected to open in September 2019, Ross tells Hotelier Middle East.
Explaining the group’s strategy, he says: “We have a clear vision to not only develop the offerings of our existing properties but to expand on our current portfolio and this starts with our upcoming announcements of the new re-positioning of JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort to The Resort, Jebel Ali Beach effective of November 2018 and a new property, JA Lake View Hotel, due to open in September 2019.
Our iconic resort will then comprise of three properties; JA Palm Tree Court, JA Beach Hotel and JA Lake View Hotel.
“These developments follow the revamp of our recognised mountain retreat in Hatta — JA Hatta Fort Hotel — that remains a focus for us as we continue to explore and develop our offering to drive local and international business.”
However, while JA had previously revealed limited information about a 20-villa property, no further information was provided to Hotelier, and the hotel seems to have been dropped from the group’s pipeline.
JA Resorts was added to the Global Hotel Alliance earlier this year, joining a network of more than 35 independent brands and 500 hotels.