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Indian group to launch AED4b hotel, realty projects in Dubai

ravi-pillaiRP Group of Companies on Sunday announced ambitious growth plans and said it would invest Dh4 billion in new hotels and mixed-use developments in the UAE this year.

The diversified global business conglomerate with strong business interests in the Gulf region and India, said its development projects would generate more than 7,500 new jobs in Dubai.

“The group’s new projects in 2014 will create more than 25,000 new jobs in the Gulf region, complementing the efforts of GCC governments to drive employment generation,” Dr Ravi Pillai, founder and chairman of RP Group of Companies, said in a statement to 
Khaleej Times on Sunday.

He said the new investments also mark the expansion of the company to real estate development in the UAE. By 2017, the company expects to develop over 4.5 million square feet of real estate in Dubai.

Pillai said this year’s new development pipeline includes four new projects in the UAE, including a three million square feet integrated mega-project in Dubai, which will feature a five-star hotel, serviced apartments, elegant residences and a dedicated retail precinct. Other new projects include a five-star luxury hotel in Dubai Marina to be operated by Crowne Plaza; a high-end four-star hotel in Bur Dubai operated by India’s ITC Group; and a dedicated serviced apartment complex near Downtown Dubai. He said nearly 25-30 per cent of the total profits of the group will be set aside for social service.

“The growth plans of the company are aligned with the development vision of the Gulf region, and that one of the core areas is supporting emiratisation initiatives. We already have three training centres in Saudi Arabia, which trains talented young Saudis for rewarding careers,” Pillai said.

He said RP Group is also immediately opening two full-fledged offices in Kuwait and Oman, where the company is currently finalising contracts in the oil & gas sector, as well as two hotel projects in Saudi Arabia, the details of which will be announced in due course.

“RP Group recorded robust growth in 2013, led by the positive performance of the regional economies,” he said.

“We are thankful to the support and guidance of the regional governments, which have outlined clear development visions with the goal of energising the economy and creating new jobs. We are committed to partner in the socio-economic growth of the Gulf economies through our development projects that add tremendous value.”

“In 2014, the focus of our expansion programmes is to further strengthen our footprint both in oil and gas and non-oil sectors, thus effectively partnering with the growth strategy of the regional governments. This is reflected in our new developments in Dubai, which is currently further investing in the hospitality sector as part of the infrastructure development programmes in preparation to host the World Expo 2020.”

Elaborating, he said the new mixed-use real estate project, located on Sheikh Zayed Road, will be a world-class development that meets the growing demand for residential, commercial, retail and hospitality real estate in the city.

“Our diverse portfolio of new hotels in Dubai complement the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to welcome over 20 million annual visitors by the turn of this decade,” he said.

Pillai said that the opening of the full-fledged offices in Kuwait and Oman follows the signing of the new oil and gas sector contracts in the countries, where RP Group plans to expand significantly.

“We see tremendous opportunity in both Kuwait and Oman, where we are currently focusing on oil and gas sector projects. To lead these projects, we are setting up stronger local operational bases and hiring new employees, and both offices will open this year.”

Further strengthening its regional presence, particularly in the non-oil sector, RP Group is building new hotels in Jubail and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, where the overall business growth has led to stronger demand for hotels and serviced apartments. “This is an exciting period of growth, and we are consolidating our strengths in fields such as contracting, construction, hotels and oil & gas, in which we have proven competencies. Our new expansion plans for 2014 are envisaged to support the local economies and catalyse social and economic development,” added Pillai.

RP Group’s new hotel project in Bur Dubai will open in April, and will also feature ITC’s signature restaurant, Bukhara. He said the group is also collaborating with ITC to open another new hotel in Kerala.

“The extending of visa-on-arrival for tourists from over 180 countries will drive the growth of India’s tourism sector, and we are leveraging this growth opportunity through new investments in the hotel sector of the country.”

The company is also expanding to Mozambique this year, through oil and gas project contracts. Pillai said Africa presents a strong growth opportunity for entrepreneurs from the Gulf region. Across all projects announced by RP Group, the focus will be on optimising resource use, maximising productivity and bringing truly world-class project development skills.-Khaleej Times