As Dubai's tourism evolves, other hotel segments pop up

If there is one thing Dubai is known for and does well, it's luxury hotels. Thing is, the emirate is full of them. Now developers and brands are turning their attention to other segments as a means to capture Dubai's continued tourism growth. And lower-tier hotels are becoming a priority.

Back in November, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide CEO Frits van Paasschen had this to say about Dubai. "The next wave of growth in Dubai will be with some of our three and four-star brands such as Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton, and the goal is to have Dubai as second to none in terms of number of hotels for Starwood."

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Now, other hotel developers are taking note and seeking to ride the wave of travel to Dubai in the mid-market space.

Today's news is of a new mid-market lifestyle brand entry into Dubai called Rove Hotels, being developed by Emaar Hospitality Group, a Dubai-based global property developer, in partnership with Meraas Holding, a Dubai-based leading development company.

The brand is being called "cosmopolitan, smart and cultural, which finds expression in a contemporary new mid-market lifestyle hotel brand." Rove Hotels is expected to roll out 10 properties across central locations in Dubai and the region by 2020.

The target for the brand are "modern value-conscious and socially networked generation as well as families who cherish fuss-free and friendly guest experiences."

Philippe Zuber, COO of Emaar Hospitality Group, said Rove complements the Dubai Tourism Vision to welcome over 20 million annual visitors by 2020. "Located in central destinations and bringing a new lifestyle-inspired value hospitality experience, Rove will support the preparations and hosting of the World Expo 2020. We have made significant progress with our first project—Rove Za’abeel (renderings pictured)—and will roll out 10 hotels in central locations in the coming years."

Rooms will be around 280 square feet with nearly half the rooms interconnected, as family-friendly is a hallmark of the brand.

Services include an e-Concierge application via smartphones, self-check-in stations, a 24-hour gym, pool and sun deck and 24-hour self-service laundromats. F&B will be locally sourced.

The first hotel, the aforementioned Rove Za’abeel, will be located 20 minutes from the Dubai International Airport, opposite The Dubai Mall, with 420 rooms across 14 floors. An opening this year is expected.

Earlier this month, Emaar opened the Manzil Downtown Dubai, an upscale, 155-room lifestyle hotel.

Unlike other oil-rich emirates, in Dubai, revenue from petroleum and natural gas reportedly account for less than 2 percent of its gross domestic product. As a result, Dubai in the early 2000s turned to a service- and tourism-oriented economy.