Dubai – MENA Herald: Al Habtoor Group reported a strong performance for the first nine months of 2015 with revenue soaring over 16% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The value of the company’s investments and expansion initiatives in Dubai currently stand at AED 12.5 billion.

Chairman, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, said: “Our business model has evolved over the past couple of years. We are a different animal to what we were previously. Our automotive division is expanding rapidly. It recently entered the Saudi Arabian market for the first time with Fuso Trucks. This was a major win for us. In the hospitality sector we have a spectacular portfolio of five-star hotels in Dubai and we are growing internationally.

“We are looking forward to 2016. We have ambitious plans for the future, however, it is not time to be complacent. We are an active player across many sectors and play a key role in the UAE economy. Therefore we need to ensure we have the right teams in place to reach our full potential.”

Al Habtoor Motors

Al Habtoor Motors outperformed expectations during the first nine months of the year, recording year-on-year revenue growth of 17%.

The auto unit said it sold 50,693 Mitsubishi vehicles in the period from January 1 to September 30.

“We continue to be market leaders. We hold the number one spot in terms of worldwide sales across several of our car brands including Mitsubishi, Bentley, Bugatti and McLaren. UAE Sales of overall Mitsubishi vehicles accounts for 60% of GCC sales, and the Mitsubishi Pajero remains the UAE’s top-selling car,” said Al Habtoor.”

Al Habtoor Motors is currently building the world’s first – and largest – iconic Bentey Motor showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road. The state-of-the-art building will be one of just a handful around the world. In addition, it recently opened the world’s first Bentley Café & Boutique in Dubai Marina. The Bentley Café boasts a designer menu offering the finest selection of gourmet coffee and snacks. Attached to the café is a new boutique selling Bentley-branded merchandise.

Habtoor Hotels

Al Habtoor Group’s hotels division saw revenue expand 23% in the first nine months of 2015.

Al Habtoor Group has witnessed significant change within its hospitality unit, adding further international brands to its growing portfolio and repositioning its Dubai assets by teaming up with well-known international brands.  The local assets include The Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah; The Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, a franchise of Marriott International; and the recently opened St. Regis Dubai at Al Habtoor City – a new landmark in Dubai. The two other five-star hotels within the upmarket development will open early 2016; The W Dubai – Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City.

In addition the Group has partnered with The Ritz-Carlton for one of its Budapest properties – the Elizabeth Park Hotel, Budapest. It also owns the InterContinental Budapest Hotel on the famous Danube River as well as two hotels in Lebanon; The Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand and The Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace. Last year the Al Habtoor Group entered the US hospitality market for the first time, buying The President Abraham Lincoln Springfield, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

Al Habtoor said: “I am eying further investments abroad.”  He added he had allocated an additional AED 2 billion for international acquisitions in 2016. “I am always considering international growth, and looking for sound investments abroad. My focus is on Europe and the United States.”

The Chairman said occupancy rates at the the company’s Dubai hotels saw above average capacity for much of the year, and revenue at all the international properties increased by double digits in the first nine months of 2015.

He added that he is looking forward to 2016 when all three of the hotels within Al Habtoor City will be fully operational. “The St. Regis Dubai at Al Habtoor City is now open. It is the epitome of luxury,” he said. “When you enter the lobby you feel like you could be in New York in the 1900s. Al Habtoor City promises to be a new landmark in Dubai. Our three hotels each offer something truly unique and cater to a diverse clientele. This exciting new venue will also be home to the region’s first-ever Las Vegas-style theatrical production exclusively choreographed for the City, created by Dragone, the world’s leading cultural creation company. “

Al Habtoor said: “The Residence Collection, at Al Habtoor City is ahead of schedule. By the end of 2015 construction will be 50% complete.

In addition, we are also developing The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club in DubaiLand. The centerpiece of the equestrian development is a St. Regis Hotel. The St. Regis name has long been associated with polo, but this marks its first polo resort.”

The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, due to open at the end of 2016, will be an equestrian haven providing multiple disciplines from traditional horse-riding, show jumping, dressage and polo. It will be the home base of the Al Habtoor Polo Team and host big regional and international polo events. The resort will be surrounded by 156 luxury villas, 24 of which will be St. Regis-branded.

Other developments under construction include a new Metropolitan Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. Al Habtoor said: “We are delighted to bring back an old favourite. The old Metropolitan Hotel, on the site of Al Habtoor City, was loved by everyone.”

Real Estate

The Group reported a jump in revenue at its Real Estate division of nearly 5% for the first nine months of the year. Expanding on its real estate business, the Al Habtoor Group is also developing Oasis Villas, a residential complex located behind the new Metropolitan on Sheikh Zayed Road – due for completion in early 2016. The development, in a prime location, consists of 74 villas ranging from four, five and six bedrooms.

“Our real estate portfolio is growing significantly with upcoming developments including the Residence Collection at Al Habtoor City which will introduce more than 1,400 apartments to the city, as well as the villas at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. These are very exciting times ahead,” the Chairman said.

Car Rental

The car rental unit of the Al Habtoor Group, Diamondlease, marked steady growth in the first nine months of 2015. The unit, which was rebranded at the start of the year, has recently won some key contracts, including from telecoms giant Etisalat.

Education

Al Habtoor Group operates two international schools in Dubai – Emirates International School Jumeirah (EIS-J) and Emirates International School –Meadows (EIS-M). Both schools achieved exceptional results in 2015, with graduating students being offered places in prestigious universities around the world including MIT, London School of Economics, King’s College London, University of California (Berkeley), Stanford, and others.

EIS-J is one of only a handful of schools worldwide to offer all International Baccalaureate Programmes (IB). It now offers IBPYP, IBMYP, IBDP and IBCC.  The school is currently undergoing an extension to improve facilities and offer admission to a further 900 students bringing the total capacity to 4,600 in both schools.