Jumeirah hotels is expanding into Asia, and China is set to have more hotels in the company's portfolio than any other country in the world aside from Dubai.
Jumeirah’s group chief development officer Shafi Syed told the South China Morning Post that the Dubai-based company has 10 Asia-Pacific projects in the pipeline, eight of which are in China. The company has hotels planned for Sanya, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Haikou, Macau, Qiandouhu, and Wuhan. (A property in Hong Kong is reportedly on the company's radar for the future.)
Jumeirah Nanjing, which was designed by the late Zaha Hadid, will open in the second quarter of 2017, and will be the company’s second China-based hotel after it made its debut in Shanghai five years ago.
“We remain a company that will be very focussed on relationships – working with a developer partner, sharing a vision with them, being flexible in terms of what they want to do with their project, however very focussed on delivering returns of their investment,” Syed said. Unique takes on food options and personalization in hotel experiences are "growing trends" in the Chinese hotel industry, he added, noting that these elements are "already part of the hotel group’s DNA."
There is a clear reason for targeting the market: Last year, more than 176,000 Chinese guests visited Jumeirah hotels outside China. An estimated 450,000 Chinese tourists visited Dubai alone, making China one of the most important tourist sources for the Emirate and its related businesses. Even more importantly, the number of Chinese outbound tourists is expected to double by 2020, making brand awareness within that demographic vital for any global business.