Raffles to add five hotels by 2011 Luxury hotel group Raffles has announced plans to open five new properties by 2011. The new hotels comprise the Raffles Resort Konottaa in the Maldives, a 49-villa resort to open in autumn 2008; the Raffles Tianjin hotel in China, a 116-room property to open in December 2008; the 100-room Raffles Tortola in the British Virgin Islands set to launch in 2010; the 200-room Raffles St Lucia in the West Indies also opening in 2010; and the Raffles Da Nang Resort & Residences in Vietnam, a 150-room property to open in 2011.
Starwood opens Egyptian resortStarwood has opened a new resort in Egypt with the launch of Le Meridien Dahab Resort in Dahab Bay on the Gulf of Aqaba. The 182-room five-star property has been designed by French architect and interior designer Alain Jaouen and opened with 110 rooms, with another 72 to follow next year. Leisure facilities include five swimming pools (infinity pool, salt and fresh water pools), a children's club, dive and windsurfing centre, jacuzzi, steam rooms and saunas, and landscaped gardens and tennis courts. A spa and wellness centre will open next year.
Hard Rock Hotel to be developed in Malaysia Hotel Properties (HPL) has announced plans to develop a Hard Rock Hotel in Penang, Malaysia. The Hard Rock Hotel Penang will be a luxury resort on Batu Ferringhi beach, on the coastal road north-west of Georgetown. It will include a luxury spa as well as four food and beverage outlets including a Hard Rock Café, an all-day dining restaurant and a lounge bar. Separately the company announced it was considering opening a Hard Rock Hotel in Singapore adding it had not yet got any specific locations in mind.
McDonald's plans Russian expansion Fast-food giant McDonald's said it will have opened 30 outlets in Russia by the end of this year and plans to drastically increase its rate of expansion in the country over the next two years. Ian Borden, McDonald's chief financial officer for Russia and Eastern Europe, said: "Russia will be one of the key countries where McDonald's will see growth." He added that Russia is an undeveloped market in which income levels and consumer spending are increasing quickly. He said over the coming years the country's dining out market will expand by 20% annually.
By Kerstin Kühn
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