Dubai’s Jumeirah Group to operate five-star hotel in Makkah

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A JLL report last year noted that Makkah was one of the biggest hotel markets in the Kingdom with 27,000 rooms. (Reuters)
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An agreement to develop Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel was signed between officials of Jabal Omar Development Company and Dubai Holding.
Updated 20 July 2017
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Dubai’s Jumeirah Group to operate five-star hotel in Makkah

DUBAI: Dubai-based Jumeirah Group will operate its first hotel in Saudi Arabia, which is scheduled to open by early 2019.
Jumeirah Group’s five-star hotel, within walking distance of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, will have 1,033 guest rooms housed in four towers as well as an executive lounge, a gym and more than 90 retail units. It would also operate 93 villas housed with the hotel compound.
Jabal Omar Development Company will develop the five-star Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel under the terms of the agreement with Dubai Holding, Jumeirah Group’s mother unit.
With the Makkah hotel deal, Jumeirah Group will now have 22 hotels under its wing, housing some 7,164 rooms.
Dubai’s Emaar Properties last month also signed an agreement to open an Address Hotels + Resorts-branded property in Makkah, with 1,490 hotel rooms and suites, and is scheduled to start operations in 2019.
Edris Al-Rafi, the chief executive of Dubai Holding, said, adding the Makkah hotel in its portfolio was a “key milestone” in the company’s global ambitions.
“As the company embarks on its next phase of growth, adding such a strategic and large hotel to the portfolio is a key milestone in our ambitious international expansion strategy. Jabal Omar Jumeirah Makkah Hotel will significantly boost its growth in the coming years. It will also mark the group’s first presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Makkah, one of the holiest sites in the world and the highest in real estate value.”
Yasser Al-Sharif, the chief executive of Jabal Omar Development Company, meanwhile said it was “pleased to work with an established global hospitality brand” such as Jumeirah Group.
Jabal Omar Development is the firm responsible for developing more than 2 million square meters of hotel and residential tower clusters overlooking the Grand Mosque.
A JLL report last year noted that Makkah was one of the biggest hotel markets in the Kingdom with 27,000 rooms, compared with 11,000 in Riyadh and 9,400 in Jeddah. It is estimated that around 75 percent of the demand from pilgrims is accommodated in hotels, with the remaining 25 percent in other forms of accommodation.
Many hotels in Makkah have traditionally only operated during peak months, but the JLL report revealed that with the entry of more international operators, this pattern is now changing, with more hotels operating throughout the year.
There are plans to roughly double the capacity to accommodate both Umrah and Haj visitors to around 15 million and five million respectively by 2020.


Online fashion retailer Boohoo’s sales almost double

Updated 25 April 2018
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Online fashion retailer Boohoo’s sales almost double

LONDON: British online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo beat forecasts with a 40 percent jump in annual profit and an almost doubling of revenue as its mainly younger customers snapped up its budget-friendly designs.
The company, which imitates the latest fashions and sells them at “pocket money” prices to mainly twentysomethings, said it had made a strong start to this year, sending its shares as much as 18 percent higher.
Its robust performance and that of bigger online peer ASOS highlights how the Internet is reshaping the British retail landscape and the clothing sector in particular.
“Against a backdrop of difficult trading in the UK clothing sector, the group continued to perform well, gaining market share in the expanding online sector,” said joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane.
Founded in Manchester, northern England, in 2006, Boohoo has expanded rapidly, purchasing the PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal brands at the beginning of last year.
The pure Internet players are bucking a challenging backdrop for UK consumers, outflanking and taking market share from traditional rivals burdened with big store estates.
Last week the 240-year old Debenhams department store chain reported a 52 percent slump in first-half profit and warned on the full-year outlook for the second time in four months.
In stark contrast, Boohoo raised sales and profit guidance four times in 2017-18.
The company made a pretax profit of £43.3 million pounds in the year to February 28, up from £30.9 million a year earlier and topping the £39.4 million expected by analysts, according to Reuters data. Revenue soared 97 percent to £579.8 million, ahead of company guidance.
The stock has come off from 273 pence in June last year, on concerns profit growth will be held back by a step-up in investment.
However, Boohoo said on Wednesday it could invest more in systems, technology, warehouses, distribution and marketing, while still delivering substantial sales and profit growth.
Capital expenditure in 2018-19 would be £50 million- £60 million. Revenue growth was forecast at 35-40 percent, with a profit (EBITDA) margin of 9-10 percent.
Looking beyond 2018-19 it forecast sales growth of “at least” 25 percent, whilst maintaining a 10 percent EBITDA margin.
“Critically, fears of a ‘margin reset’ have not been realized,” said analysts at Peel Hunt, reiterating their “buy” recommendation.
“Changes to distribution plans means the next move is likely to be overseas,” they said.