JA Resorts & Hotels showcased its new brand and hotel developments to travel agents in the UK this week.
The hospitality group, which includes the Jebel Ali branded hotels and various attractions in in Dubai, revealed the reasons behind its name change and outlined what had changed within its portfolio.
David Thomson, chief operating officer at JA told Travel Daily the UK is its most important market along with Russia and is due to see 10 million guests this year, up from 9.8m last year. The hotel group also recently launched an online training course for agents in the UK.
“As Jebel Ali International we were known for hospitality and service but there was not a lot happening during the 30 years,” he admitted in a speech to the trade. “We had to take things to the next level and create an international brand with international standards to drive forward. The name JA keeps to our heritage as Jebel Ali but as a place in Dubai it has its limitations as we plan our international reach.”
This international expansion is due to kick off next year when JA’s first property outside of Dubai will open. Its 10-villa resort in the Seychelles, named Enchanted Island Resort, is due to open on 1 March in the centre of the National Marine Park. Meanwhile in the UAE, its Palm Tree Court Hotel has re-opened following an upgrade to its rooms, lobby and pool.
In addition JA will open Dubai’s first beachfront four-star hotel on 1 January named Ocean View Hotel. The property will open on The Walk area of Dubai Marina and 338 rooms all over-looking the sea and The Palm.