Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, has relocated its head office from Geneva to Dubai.
While the move is partly believed to be motivated by tax benefits, it’s another sign of the growing magnetism of Dubai and its geographical suitability as a base to target emerging markets. Last month Starwood relocated its head office to Dubai for a month.
GHA currently encompasses 18 member brands including Omni, Kempinski, Pan Pacific and Anantara (Anantara Royal Mangroves Residence, Abu Dhabi pictured). By July, when newest member Rixos Hotels joins, the alliance will have over 80,000 rooms across 59 countries.
Christopher Hartley, CEO, Global Hotel Alliance, said Dubai is “the modern hub of hospitality”, which is evident from the presence of all the major brands in the region, and the growth and development that the city is currently experiencing.
HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, said following on from the Emirates and Qantas partnership, the relocation of Global Hotel Alliance from Geneva to Dubai is one more affirmation that Dubai is now seen as a centre of global tourism and a strategic location from which to access key growth markets.
“A number of their member brands already have hotels in Dubai and with Global Hotel Alliance now located in the Emirate, the other members will have more opportunities to see the business proposition Dubai holds for them,”said Al Marrri.
Based on the airline alliance model, Global Hotel Alliance brings together independent, upscale and luxury hotel brands to deliver a unique multi-brand loyalty programme, GHA Discovery, which has over three million members.
GHA Discovery was the industry’s first loyalty program to deliver “experience-based rewards” beyond the standard industry upgrades and cash rewards.