Lemon Tree to expand in Middle East

RATAN KEWANILemon Tree Hotels is all set to cash in on growing Indian tourists and corporate travel to the UAE, as it plans to operate eight properties in the next three years in the region. The company will be opening a mix of hotels and serviced apartments in Abu Dhabi, Fujairah and Dubai, where it expects to operate its first property. According to Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, they are trying to harness the spending power of Indians through this development. Lemon Tree has tied up with the Sydney-based real estate agent Raine and Horne to open Lemon Tree properties in the region, including in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The company, which operates properties under the Lemon Tree and Red Fox brands, said the planned hotels would have between 60 and 100 rooms on average, and could include pool, spa and up to three restaurants. Lemon Tree Hotels is also looking at Sri Lanka and the Thai capital Bangkok. Sanjay Chimnani, MD, Raine and Horne, said it would be looking at neighbourhoods in Dubai such as Jaddaf, Business Bay, City Walk, Al Barsha, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Jebel Ali and Jumeirah Village Circle to open more properties.