It’s a year of rapid change for JA Resorts & Hotels, one of Dubai’s longest-serving homegrown hospitality brands. Fresh blood in the leadership team is catapulting the company into the future with a new vision and mission, a reinvigoration of the brand, new properties, renovations and significant international expansion. Today, JA Resorts & Hotels announced it is expanding into China this year, in a joint venture.
In partnership with Novel International Group, a Shanghai investment fund, JA Resorts & Hotels are forming JA Novel Hospitality China, and through this partnership will be acquiring buildings to be retrofitted, renovated or completed as hotels in two distinctions. The first is upper upscale hotels which will be branded as JA Hotels and the second segment will be upper midscale lifestyle hotels branded as ‘Big Bed by JA’.
For the upper upscale hotels, the company is currently exploring 3 property options in 2 destinations and another 5-6 areas in the coming years. The vision for the Big Bed brand or Dà chuáng in Chinese, is to roll out 30 units by 2024 – spread across various cities in China.
JA Resorts & Hotels consider expansion into China an unmissable opportunity. The population of China is 1.4 billion – making it the world’s most populous country and accounting for 18% of the world population. Millennials in particular, represent 415 million consumers, privileged and informed consumers with high purchasing power. They are also savvy, educated and passionate about travel.
The Big Bed or Dà chuáng will be a lifestyle hotel brand for Chinese millennials that incorporates technology into every touch point and is very contemporary in style, featuring street art and vibrant colors. The 3 key room features will be a big, super comfortable bed, large screen with super-fast interactive connectivity and a sleek, practical bathroom with a rain shower. The size of the rooms will be around 20 square meters with an open closet, open bathroom and arty but simplistic millennial design. The hotels will have minimal public space but several areas to hang around, connect with each other, eat or work. With no reception desks, an app will provide access to all hotel services from door key, to ordering food.
JA Resorts & Hotels are now in the final stages of brand design and expect to be ready by July, working with world renowned brand specialists who have launched multiple niche players in the market successfully. The company already has an in-depth knowledge of the Chinese markets due to the teams’ Asia experience, ongoing connectivity to the DTCM China team and existing presence across Chinese social media platforms – Weibo and WeChat. A high volume of Chinese travellers also stay at JA Manafaru in the Maldives, where JA Resorts & Hotels has a partnership with China’s most renowned chef- Da Dong.
CEO of JA Resorts & Hotels, Anthony Ross said of the move;
‘We are targeting 27% of China’s population, the ‘ba ling hou’ and the ‘jiu ling hou’ – the millennials and our objective is to have 30 Big Bed hotels by 2034 and at least 3 JA branded properties. It is an ambitious year of growth and change, but we are ready for it. Our owners are extremely supportive, our team is poised and ready and we are working with the right partners for success.’