Southern Sun expands in Dubai

Africa’s leading hotel group, Southern Sun Hotels, is set to tap into Dubai’s booming travel and tourism industry. The hotel group is expanding its operations into the Middle East for the first time and will manage and operate two properties - Al Manzil and Qamardeen Hotels - in Dubai’s prestigious 500-acre Downtown Burj Dubai development by global real estate major Emaar Properties.

Located in Downtown Burj Dubai’s Old Town component, the hotels are in close proximity to Burj Dubai, billed to be the world’s tallest tower when completed in 2008. The two hotels will offer 21 suites and over 350 rooms as well as a host of amenities including business centres, swimming pools, all-day diners, conference and meeting rooms, speciality restaurants, coffee shops and more.

Southern Sun’s venture into the Middle East follows an agreement with Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based Public Joint Stock Company listed on the Dubai Financial Market and part of the Dow Jones Arabia Titans Index.

‘We are delighted to be moving into the Middle East region and we believe our agreement with Emaar Properties further enhances our development as one of the world’s leading hotel groups,’ said Richard Weilers, Managing Director, Southern Sun Middle East.

‘Dubai is a city that offers a magnificent blend of business and leisure opportunities and both of our new hotels will complement that position in every possible way,’ he added.

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Both the Al Manzil and Qamardeen Hotel properties are located close to the spectacular Burj Dubai as well as The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination; and The Old Town, a low-rise residential cluster featuring architectural elements that are inspired from the Arabian heritage.

‘The opening of Southern Sun hotels in Downtown Burj Dubai underscores our commitment to offering the best hospitality offerings in the world to a discerning clientele,’ said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, UAE Managing Director of Emaar Properties.

‘Downtown Burj Dubai will be the new lifestyle destination of Dubai, and Southern Sun hotels, with an impeccable track-record, will be an ideal partner in creating a vibrant community of residences, businesses, lifestyle components and hotels with this 500-acre project.’

Downtown Burj Dubai is of development value US$20 billion (AED 73 billion) and ushers in a new, vibrant downtown to Dubai. The project also encompasses The Old Town Island, South Ridge, The Residences, Burj Dubai Business Hub, Burj Dubai Lake Hotel and Serviced Apartments, The Lofts, Burj Views and Burj Dubai Boulevard - set amidst a large lake, landscaped parks and gardens. The ambitious development will provide first class living, working and entertainment options.

Al Manzil will open in late December 2006 and will offer 197 rooms and a quaint Arabian-style souk which is connected to the hotel. The Qamardeen Hotel, offering 186 rooms, will open its doors in early January 2007.

‘Both hotels are also in close proximity to some of the city’s most attractive tourist spots including world-class shopping malls and magnificent beaches,’ said Mr Weilers. Return transfers will be available from both hotels to these locations.

‘And of course we will continue to offer an unrivalled commitment to providing the very best facilities for the business traveller. With complimentary high speed Internet access, a 24-hour business centre, WiFi in public areas and close proximity to the Dubai World Trade Centre, those staying with us for business purposes will be able to operate with complete ease and effectiveness,’ he added.

And if it’s time to relax, the hotels provide plenty of leisure facilities including outdoor swimming pools, fitness centres and all-day dining outlets.

There will also be a sports entertainment grill and beverage outlet that can seat 96 people. Nezesaussi (short form for New Zealand, South Africa and Australia) will be Dubai’s newest speciality food and beverage outlet and is expected to become the city’s top destination for meals and drinks while watching all the sports action from around the globe.
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