ONYX prepares for Middle East expansion

Guest Writer

Bangkok-based ONYX Hospitality Group is looking to the Middle East to roll out several brands from its portfolio.The company, which recently acquired luxury boutique serviced apartment brand, Shama, has set its sights on the Middle East, China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia for more such properties.Shama already boasts 13 serviced apartments across China and Hong Kong, all of which are designed for the long-stay market.In addition, ONYX CEO Peter Henley,told TDME at last week’s World Travel Market (WTM) that the time was now right to seek owners for more of the group’s hotel brands (Saffron, Amari and Ozo) in the Middle East.”We looked at properties in Oman and Dubai last year but they didn’t come to anything,” he said.”We are looking at Bahrain and Qatar right now and have been short-listed for properties there.”One of our aims for 2011 is to get some contracts signed [in the Middle East] - we feel that we have the right brands for the Middle East.”Henley said Middle East business to the group’s properties in Thailand was strong, with 80% of occupancy at the Amari Boulevard attributed to this market in June and July.The group has also just opened the 128-room Amari Residences Bangkok next door to the Bangkok Hospital where many GCC Nationals seek medical treatment.In other ONYX Hospitality Group news, the firm will open the Herathera Island Resort Maldives on 1 December - its first property outside of Thailand.The Amari Residences Sukhumvit also opens in December with 144 rooms.Other openings planned are: Oriental Residence Bangkok (mid-2011); Ozo Resort Koh Samui (2012); and Amari Residences Hua Hin (mid-2012).

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