Dubai, Oct 18 (UNI) Ramee Group of hotels, which operates 31 mid-sized hotels in the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) and India, is investing Dh 5 billion (Rs 60 billion) in 15 new projects in the Gulf and India, a top official said.
These include three five-star properties in Dubai, four projects in Bahrain and three hotels in India.
''Of these, Dh 2.7 billion will be invested in the UAE, Dh 1.3 billion in Bahrain and a further Dh 1 billion in India,'' Raj Shetty, chairman and managing worker of the group told the Gulf News.
In India, Mr Shetty said his company has already started constructing one five-star hotel in Bangalore, Karnataka and two four-star hotels in Mumbai and Pune.
In addition, it has purchased a shopping mall of 200,000 square feet in Chennai and commenced construction of commercial complex in Mumbai with an investment outlay of Dh 1.3 billion.
Mr Shetty, 48, who started business in 1983 by setting up a small restaurant in Dubai, said the current global financial crisis wouldn't hamper his growth plan.
''We are not worried about the current market conditions,'' he said.
''The UAE's tourism market is still growing and we are confident of leveraging that growth.
''Besides, most of our guests come from West Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. We hardly get any American tourists.'' Ramee Group is one of Dubai's home-grown hotel chains that has made it big, benefiting from the opportunities created by the city's phenomenal growth.
The company, which started 25 years ago in Deira with a small eatery, grew from one three-star hotel in Al Ras area in 1986 to 31 hotels with 2,170 rooms served by 4,000 employees in 2008. ''I started my first hotel with 1.5 million dollars which at that time, was a large amount,'' he said.
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