India’s Lemon Tree Hotels plans eight GCC properties

Group appoints local partner to manage roll-out of mid-scale and economy hotels over next three years


India’s Lemon Tree Hotels plans to open eight properties across the GCC region over the next three years, according to an announcement by its local representative and franchise partner Raine & Horne.

Founded in 2002 by veteran hotelier Patu Keswani, New Delhi–based Lemon Tree Hotels has three brands under its umbrella, all of which it plans to bring to the GCC region. The brands are the upscale Lemon Tree Premier, the midscale Lemon Tree Hotels, and the economy Red Fox Hotel.

The hotel group has appointed the regional office of the Australian real estate franchise Raine & Horne as its GCC representative to support its eight hotel openings across the region by 2019. The local partner will help identify properties, manage relationships and execute agreements, the announcement said.

“We now have 29 hotels and over 3200 rooms in 18 cities in India, and another 11 hotels with 1,500 rooms currently under development,” said Rattan Keswani, deputy managing director of Lemon Tree Hotels. “Expanding within the GCC was the next logical step in the company’s evolution. We are also the third largest hotel brand in India, and by 2018 should have over 4% of hotel rooms in India, which are owned, managed or under development. Lemon Tree Hotels is delighted to be expanding into a region that Indian travellers are so keen to visit, and to fill the gap in the market for non-5-star hotel brands ahead of Expo 2020.”

With the timing of its expansion, Lemon Tree Hotels also aims to take advantage of the additional year of exemption of the 10% Dubai Municipality fee announced recently for three and four star hotels that begin operations around June 2017.

Sanjay Chimnani, managing director of Raine & Horne, Dubai, said: “There’s a big need for quality affordable or midscale segment hotels and serviced apartments, and they are key to the development of the region and its objective of having 20 million visitor arrivals by 2020. There is already good competition amongst peer group brands, which is a sign of maturity in the market, but we believe there is a big opportunity and gap in the market for an established brand like Lemon Tree Hotels, who boast an aggressive network across India. We look forward to leveraging our regional property expertise and network to roll out the Lemon Tree brand out across the GCC.”

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