- Partners Gravity Resort Group to spearhead first-ever luxury resort development on East Coast of Sri Lanka
- JA Resorts & Hotels extends its heartfelt hospitality further across the Indian Ocean through a five-star beach resort with 108 luxurious suites and villas in natural environment on Sri Lanka’s East Coast
JA Resorts & Hotels Chief Operating Officer David Thomson (left) with Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake at the Arabian Travel Mart last week
A JA Resorts & Hotels - Jebel Ali Beach Hotel
UAE-based JA Resorts & Hotels today announced that it would be developing a premium tropical beach resort in Kathiravelion along the East Coast of Sri Lanka in partnership with the Gravity Resort Group (GRG), strengthening JA Resorts & Hotels’ international expansion plans.
To be known as JA Eclipse Beach Resort, the property marks JA Resorts & Hotels’ third premium tropical beach resort in the Indian Ocean. As part of its expansion strategy, JA Resorts & Hotels launched its first premium destination in the Seychelles, Enchanted Island Resort, in December 2013, rapidly followed by JA Manafaru in the Maldives in November 2014.
GRG will fund the $ 30 million required for the development work while JA Resorts & Hotels will be responsible for consultation and ultimately the management of the completed resort.
Formalising an agreement on the second day of the annual Arabian Travel Market being held in Dubai, JA Resorts & Hotels and GRG marked the first five-star luxury tourist destination to be developed on the East Coast of Sri Lanka – a jewel in the Indian Ocean that since 2009 has seen rapid growth in tourist numbers.
Tourism numbers increased from 450,000 in 2009 to 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2014 – and this number is predicted to increase on average by 20-25% annually according to the Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority.
“We are extremely proud to be the first UAE-based hospitality company to sign a management agreement enabling us to manage the first-ever luxury resort development on the Sri Lankan East Coast,” said JA Resorts & Hotels Chief Operating Officer David Thomson. He added that JA Resorts & Hotels was also the first UAE hospitality company to both own and manage a high-end resort in the Maldives.
“We remain committed to spreading our heartfelt hospitality into foreign leisure markets. This is in line with our long-term expansion strategy – endorsed by our parent company, the Dutco Group of Companies – to grow our footprint within the UAE as well as internationally,” Thomson said.
The Group, which boasts of more than 30 years’ experience managing and operating resorts and hotels, also places a premium on employee wellbeing.
“Besides the financial injection into the local economy that JA Eclipse Beach Resort will make, as well as the jobs it will create, the new property will bring an added human element into our DNA of caring. It will present an opportunity to Sri Lankan staff employed at any of our other properties to repatriate to their home country if they so choose,” Thomson said.
Gravity Resort Group’s Director Deepal Ahangama added: “We are optimistic that JA Eclipse Beach Resort will bring significant social and economic benefits to the local community as well as genuine personal development opportunities for Sri Lankans within the resort’s team.
“Therefore, we set out to find a management company which genuinely places people at the heart of what it does and one which was committed to a long-term relationship for the benefit of all stakeholders. We were delighted to find that JA Resorts & Hotels embodies these values and are happy to be signing the agreement with them today.”
Highlights of JA Eclipse Beach Resort include:
- 33-acres of unspoilt greenery with a beach front of 450 metres
- Easy access, with direct road access along the Trincomalee Highway it is well positioned between the key cities of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, which are 60 and 70 kilometres away, respectively – in addition, seaplane and other modes of transfer will be offered to guests to ensure their arrival to the resort is part of the experience
- Initial capacity of 108 luxurious suites and villas nestled within lush landscape
- Four key room categories, ranging from the more conventional resort suites and villas to luxurious tree-top suites and royal suites, all designed to be in keeping with the beauty of Sri Lanka
- Waterways around the resort, consisting of featured free-form swimming pools, private villa pools, water features and a lazy river naturally making its way through the resort towards the beach pool
- Eight food and beverage outlets, from casual daytime dining venues to more upmarket speciality restaurants for evening dining – in addition, a host of private dining venues will also be on offer from tree-top, beach and poolside dining
- Fully-equipped watersports centre and PADI dive centre, offering nitrox diving
- Various kids clubs will ensure all children from four months to 16 years of age are fully catered to.
- A state-of-the-art spa and wellness centre
JA Resorts and Hotels Director of Acquisitions William Harley-Fleming said: “Sri Lanka has long been a preferred destination for world travellers. They have been lured by an array of experiences, from beach holidays to wildlife watching, adrenaline pumping adventure, sports and rich historical heritage.
“We are extremely impressed by the recent dynamic development and remarkable growth of the country and we are delighted to have this opportunity to expand our hospitality portfolio in this wonderful tropical destination.
“Conceptual designs for the resort, scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2017, will be completed shortly and will remain sympathetic to the natural environment,” he concluded.