Chain extends reach to pair of regions

NEW YORK -- This July saw the expansion of the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts into Australia and the Middle East.

The Shangri-La Sydney is a rebranding of the 561-room ANA Harbour Grand Hotel, while the 301-unit Shangri-La Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is a new build. Shangri-La also will manage a 250-room Traders Hotel in Dubai beginning this month.

Earlier in 2003, the hotel group added to its Malaysian roster a property in the newly built capital Putrajaya. Later in the year, Shangri-La will launch its 17th hotel in China, in Zhangshan.

The firm will add three more hotels in China next year, but its biggest news for 2004 will be the launch of the Shangri-La Resort, Maldives under a management agreement. This "eco-oriented" property will comprise four villages and a total of 252 villas. Besides water-based resort activities, the property will feature a horticultural garden, an observatory, a marine research facility and a conservation center.

In 2005, the group will add six properties, including two more resorts, one in the Middle East, at Muscat, Oman, and another in China, at Sanya on Hainan Island.

Currently, the group's 41 properties are all in Asia -- except for those in Fiji, Australia and the Middle East. - N.G.

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For more details on this article, see Shangri-La properties get face-lift.

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