GFH forges real estate links in India

Updated 04 March 2014
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GFH forges real estate links in India

Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, has announced the signing of two development agreements for real estate development in India.
The agreements were signed on the sidelines of the Bahrain-India Business Forum in Mumbai, held as part of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's landmark visit to India.
GFH is one of the largest private sector investors from Bahrain into India. The flagship investment of GFH in India is the Energy City and Mumbai IT & Telecom City (India Project) developments in New Mumbai. The project is carried out on an area of 1,200 acres of land.
The first agreement was signed with Wadhwa Group, one of the leading real estate developers in Mumbai for over four decades and one of the largest holders of commercial assets in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the commercial hub of Mumbai. According to this agreement, GFH and Wadhwa have agreed to the appointment of Hafeez Contractor, claimed to be India's largest architect firm, to be the master planner for the Phase 1 of the India Project, with an expected end sale value of $4 billion.
The second agreement was signed with Adani Infrastructure & Developers, a company owned by Adani Group, a top 10 Indian corporate business house, which is also described as the largest port operator and the largest private sector power producer in India. According to the agreement, GFH and Adani Infrastructure & Developers intend to work together to explore development opportunities in relation to various infrastructure and real estate projects in India. Adani Infrastructure & Developers will be partnering with Asiastar City Holdings to develop the Phase 2 of GFH's India Project.
Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH, said: "We're delighted to sign these agreements with two of India's leading business groups. They go some way toward furthering our efforts to move forward with our development strategy and plans for India and our landmark project there."


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019
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Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.