Hollywood's Paramount eyes resorts in Oman, Qatar

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Paramount Hotels & Resorts, the Dubai-based official licensee of legendary silver-screen production company Paramount Pictures, is looking to open its next resort in Qatar, Oman or Asia.

Established in 2012, Paramount Hotels & Resorts (PHR-FZ-LLC) signed a deal last month with Dubai-based developer DAMAC Properties to open its first property under the brand in the emirate at the end of 2015. A second hotel is due to launch in Boao on China’s Hainan Island in 2016.

CEO Thomas Van Vliet told Hotelier Middle East that the group expects to open up to 50 hotels in capitals, gateway cities and key resort destinations worldwide, including several in the Middle East.

“We are talking to developers in China for more hotels there, in Thailand, Oman, Qatar, India, in Russia, in the UK, South Africa…” explained Van Vliet.

“If people ask ‘how big will your chain be in the end?’ we expect it won’t surpass 50 [hotels and resorts]. We want to keep it [Paramount Hotels & Resorts] quite a small chain, but each one of the properties will be unique."

Asked where the next deal is likely to be signed, he said: “Oman is beautiful and bit by bit you can see in Oman they’re attracting hotel chains with an international flair and it’s definitely a country on the map to watch in a positive way.

“Qatar, with the world soccer coming up, is also a country to watch in terms of hotels in development because it needs to build on its existing room count. Having said that they need to think about the sustainability of the development, they need theme parks and other things to survive with the hotel industry after the world soccer so that could be a chance for us to get involved in a theme park and hotel,” Van Vliet added.

“Then you go to Asia, countries like Thailand and China with enormous potential, I think it’s multiple”.

The operator’s first venture, the US $1 billion DAMAC Towers by Paramount in Downtown Dubai, will comprise four towers, one of which will be the 540-key Paramount Hotel & Residences. The other three towers feature 1400 co-branded serviced hotel residences to be operated under the developer’s hospitality brand DAMAC Maison.

Key features of the Dubai development, which is currently under construction, include a multi-level plaza housing a variety of F&B concepts, meeting and events facilities, a screening room, wellness and fitness centres, swimming pool, kids club, and retail and merchandise all featuring the Paramount brand or select partner brands.

"We’ve been tirelessly working on creating the brand and it is a collaboration between people outside our company, the people of Paramount in Los Angeles and our own team," said Van Vliet, adding that the concept would incorporate subtle elements of Holly wood glamour and California lifestyle.

Guestrooms will include surround-sound home-theatre entertainment with access to the Paramount movies library, including classics such as Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Godfather, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Forrest Gump and Braveheart. A luxurious Paramount screening room will also be available, while transformational elements like digital signage, media mapping and lighting effects will be utilised.

Source: Hotelier Middle East