Coral International signs up seven hotels in its first year of operations

Coral International Hotels, Resorts & Spas took over management of the Coral Suites, Ajman in January under a lease contract. The 95-key property, located on the Corniche road in Ajman, was previously flagged the Safir Dana Beach Resort, managed by Kuwait hotel chain Safir Hotels & Resorts.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  January 30, 2005

Coral International Hotels, Resorts & Spas took over management of the Coral Suites, Ajman in January under a lease contract. The 95-key property, located on the Corniche road in Ajman, was previously flagged the Safir Dana Beach Resort, managed by Kuwait hotel chain Safir Hotels & Resorts. Coral International, launched in Dubai in 2004, has undergone a period of rapid expansion in its first 12 months, and now manages seven properties across the region, with several more in the pipeline. The new contract in Ajman is the second property in the UAE to change management from Safir to Coral. The Safir Deira Hotel was rebranded in 2004, sparking speculation that the regional chains are competing for the same hotels. “We don’t want to compete. We just want to be ourselves. We know our goal and want to deliver a good job,” says Michel Noblet, managing director, Coral International. “We are a new name in hospitality, but we have proved ourselves already. We have the strongest corporate team in Dubai and we aim to develop our business in the UAE,” he adds. The management change of both the Ajman and Dubai properties has led to conjecture on the future of the Kuwait brand in the UAE. Expansion plans by Safir seem to be focused more on the company’s home market, with the regional brand opening its fifth property in Kuwait last month. So far, no plans have been announced by Safir to introduce another UAE property to its portfolio. Meanwhile, Coral International is now looking at expanding into Lebanon, another market where Safir has a presence. “We want to end 2005 with seven hotels operational, with the acquisition of two properties in Lebanon to be confirmed,” Noblet says. “The day we formed our company we set ourselves a target of 25 properties in five years. It has already been a year and we are proud to say that we have not only remained true to our word but have delivered far greater than our own expectations,” he says. In its first year, Coral has secured management contracts for three hotels in Dubai, two in Oman, one in Sharjah, and the lease contract for the Coral Suites Ajman.

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