New Straits Times, 7 April 2011 - Dijaya ventures into hospitality

New Straits Times, 7 April 2011

Partners Starwood to develop six-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR: Dijaya Corp Bhd will build a 50-storey hotel-cum-residential block costing RM750 million on a plot of land on Jalan Ampang, where the historical Bok House used to sit.

Dijaya yesterday signed a collaboration agreement with hotel and leisure group Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc to develop the hotel portion, which will be called W Hotel.

The pact marks the entry of Dijaya into the hospitality industry.

Dijaya managing director said it will continue to build its interest in hotels, especially in the three-and four-star categories.

"We hope to have a long-term partnership with Starwood. The tourism sector is building and we thought to grow ourselves, the next good thing is to diversify." Dijaya MD said at the signing of the pact, witnessed by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

The W Hotel will have 150 rooms and will take up the first 10 floors of the building. It will carry a six-star rating catering to discerning travellers, including businessmen.

the residences, which will be occupying 27 floors of the block, will be launched next year with estimated RM650 million in gross development value.

It will have 350 units ranging from 700 to 1,600 sq ft each and selling at between RM1,600 and RM1,800 per sq ft, Dijaya MD said.

Dijaya expects to start the development by the end of this year for completion in 2016.

Ng, meanwhile, said Malaysia will need 40,000 new hotel rooms by 2020, to cater to the estimated 36 million tourist arrivals.

Currently, there are 161,117 hotel rooms in Malaysia, generating Rm56 billion in revenue for the tourism industry.

Ng said her ministry is looking to increase this threefold to RM168 billion by 2020.

"We are trying to get more direct flights from as many destinations as possible, including the US. We are in discussions with several airlines.

"At the moment, we are focusing on transit passengers and talking to hoteliers to build this segment," she added.

(From left) Dijaya Corp group chief executive officer Danny Tan Chee Sing, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide vice president for Southeast Asia Chuck Abbott at the signing ceremony yesterday.