Praveen Shetty’s empire is growing. This 49-year-old hotelier, who has a quintessential rags-to-riches tale to recount, currently owns eight esteemed properties in UAE. Hailing from a small town in karnataka, Praveen Shetty’s business acumen has taken him to heights nobody has foreseen. Shetty’s Fortune Group of Hotels, established singlehandedly by him fifteen years ago, is known for their brilliant customer service, Indian gourmet fares and entertainment treats. The company would be opening two more properties by the end of 2015, making their collection a perfect ten. In his video interview with Travelweb Shetty talks about ATM, his visions, expansion plans and more.
“This year we shall be launching our premiere 4 star boutique hotel - Fortune Palace Hotel in Bur Dubai. It will have 120 keys and six fantastic FnB concepts including our signature brands like Freddy's - Sports Lounge and Desi Dhaba,” Shetty says.
According to him, ATM is one of the most awaited events of the year as it is the region’s largest platform to showcase hospitality products.
“We have been exhibiting at ATM for many years now. We are very proud to co-exhibit this year with both Dubai Tourism and Fujairah Tourism to highlight our hotels in Dubai and Fujairah respectively. ATM allows Middle East companies to meet thousands of people from the industry who come from all parts of the globe,” Shetty says.
The hotels - Karama Hotel in Bur Dubai, Dubai Grand Hotel in Al Qusais near Dubai Airport Terminal 2 and Deira Town Hotel in Deira – are faring extremely well with loyal customers flocking their doors.
Shetty is quite happy with the year that had gone by, “2014 was an exciting year for our group. Thanks to the expansion of Fly Dubai and Emirates, we opened up to some new markets. However, CIS business did go down but we compensated business from Indian subcontinent, GCC and China which was higher compared to 2013.”
The hotelier eyes both Iran and Russia as potential markets. The company is really optimistic that easing sanctions in Iran - will bring a new flow of business to Dubai, especially the traditionally famous Deira market.
“We are also hoping that the situation in Russia improves and its currency appreciates before the onset of winters. It is a huge feeder market for Dubai and it is not healthy for Dubai to ignore Russian Market,” he insists.
All the hotels under the brand are tailor-made for business and leisure travelers. Hence, they receive a large share of business from travel agents from India, Iran, China, Japan and Russia. The company also opened its sales offices in London and Canada to work closely with travel agents in UK, Canada and US markets.
“We are very proud of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum's vision for Dubai and its growth. Dubai remains our target city for growth. But we are open to try new territories and exploring possibilities. We are also very excited about EXPO 2020 and our growth plan is in sync with the same. We have set our vision to have 20 hotels by 2020,” Shetty signs off. With the rate which Fortune Group is expanding there is no doubt this visionary would achieve his targets sooner than expected.
Zulekha Healthcare Group has partnered with Air Arabia as its preferred medical tourism partner for its India-based hospital, Alexis Multispeciality Hospital. The collaboration was marked with the launch of an exclusive healthcare kiosk for medical tourists at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah in the presence of Founder and Chairperson, Dr. Zulekha Daud, Managing Director, Taher Shams and Co-chairperson Zanubia Shams from Zulekha Healthcare Group and Shalini Rajan, Head of Sales, Air Arabia in Sharjah, UAE.
The medical tourism team in both Zulekha Hospital and Alexis Multispeciality Hospital will work together to support the needs of the patients making it convenient for individuals seeking affordable medical treatment with world-class standards and latest medical treatments, all under one roof.
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