Mena hotels plan UK growth

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Hotel financiers in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) have targeted the UK as key to their expansion plans, according to a survey released today by lawyer DLA Piper.

The survey of more than 100 hotel owners and managers in the Mena region shows that outside of their domestic markets, financiers intend to invest most of their money in the UK over the next three years.

Hotel sales are currently big business in the UK: a portfolio of seven Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn properties are being auctioned by Splendid Hotel Group, while Park Lane's five star Grosvenor House is on the market for £500m to £550m.

The Mena hotel sector has had a problematic year, with average room rates discounted by up to 60 per cent as international holidaymaking suffered in the global recession. More than 80 per sent of respondents believed that a sustained recovery is unlikely before the end of 2012.

The report has been released to mark the first day of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai.