Raine & Horne appointed by Indian hotel chain to expedite Middle East expansion

Media release - 13th May, 2016

Leading Australian real estate group Raine & Horne has been appointed as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) representatives for Lemon Tree Hotels, India's fastest-growing chain of business and leisure hotels.

Founded in 2002 by Patu Keswani, a first generation Indian entrepreneur, Lemon Tree Hotels now boasts three brands – the upscale Lemon Tree Premier; the midscale Lemon Tree Hotels; and the economy Red Fox Hotel – which it will bring to the GCC region.

Rattan Keswani (left) and Sanjay ChimnaniThe announcement comes as Dubai Tourism reports the number of visitors from India has increased by 17% in the first quarter of 2016, with over 467,000 visitors between January and March.

Raine & Horne’s Dubai office will support eight hotel openings across the GCC region in the next three years, by identifying properties, managing relationships, and executing agreements.

The Lemon Tree group will initially focus on Dubai and Abu Dhabi, before turning its attention to further openings in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.

The appointment is another coup for Raine & Horne Dubai, who in late 2015 were appointed by Turkish investment trust Nurol REIT as their lead agency in marketing an extensive AED 3 billion (AUD $1.12 billion) Turkish real estate portfolio to GCC states.

Sanjay Chimnani, Managing Director of Raine & Horne Dubai, commented that the Lemon Tree expansion has come at an opportune time.

“There’s a big need for quality affordable or midscale segment hotels and serviced apartments, and they’re key to the development of the region and its objective of having 20 million visitor arrivals by 2020,” said Mr Chimnani.

“There’s 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 distribution network across India, and a significant number of travel operators who act on their behalf internationally.

“We look forward to leveraging our regional property expertise and network of contacts to roll out the Lemon Tree brand out across the GCC.”

Rattan Keswani, the Deputy Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels, further outlined his vision for the group’s expansion.

“We’re proud to now have 29 hotels and over 3200 rooms in 18 cities of India, and another 11 hotels with 1,500 rooms currently under development,” said Mr Keswani.

“Expanding within the GCC was the next logical step in the company’s evolution as the fastest growing hotel company in India, and by 2018 we 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 in Dubai.”

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For further media information or to organise an interview with Sanjay Chimnani, contact:

Andrew Harrington, National Communications Manager, Raine & Horne on 02 9258 5400