NMC Chairman Abdulla Humaid Al Mazroei, who along with NMC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dr BR Shetty inaugurated the hotel, said his group was going full steam ahead with its expansion plans.
“We have every confidence and faith in the economy and growth of the UAE. Our leaders have build world-class infrastructure in the country, which is continuing to grow at a healthy rate,” he added.
The hotel, which falls under the umbrella of Lotus Hospitality, an arm of the NMC Group, is located in Dubai Marina. It will be commercially operational on January 1.
The new property has 95 studio-, one-bedroom and two-bed room apartments. Lotus Hospitality has two other properties — the Lotus Hotel, the Lotus Boutique Hotel and the Lotus Grand Hotel — and plans to open another in 2011.
Mazroei cited the launch of Lotus Boutique hotel apartments as an example of the NMC Group’s confidence in the UAE economy.
“At a time when many are holding back investing in most parts of the world, we are investing in an planning to invest more in Dubai,” said Shetty.
“A lot of negative things have been written about Dubai in the media, but we know the positive realities about Dubai,” he said. “We have seen how Dubai has developed and we are sure that we would continue to witness such growth in the years and decades to come.”
Shetty also disclosed that the Bank of Baroda, the oldest Indian bank operating in UAE, had financed Lotus Hotel Apartments. Shetty said Lotus Hospitality always opted for four-star properties rather than five star.
“If an Indian bank like the Bank of Baroda is ready to finance investments in Dubai, doesn’t that tell you something about Indian investment confidence here?” said Shetty.
According to Lotus Hospital General Manager Wilson Joseph, Lotus Hospitality is maintaining a healthy occupancy rate of 80 per cent although room rentals have gone down.
“We expect to raise the occupancy rate to 90 to 95 per cent in 2010,” said Joseph. “We find that there is steady demand for four-star facilities around the year, and hence our choice is always four star,” he said.
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