DUBAI -India and Dubai real estate giant Sobha Group has announced it has acquired a plot on Dubai’s main artery Sheikh Zayed Road for the development of its first hotel in Dubai.

The group, which announced plans to launch Sobha Hotels at Arabian Travel Market last May, plans to develop over 10 five-star properties in the next three years, with two hotels earmarked for Dubai, six for India and one each in Oman and Zanzibar.

“It is our intention to have four hotels operational by 2011, with another seven properties under construction,” said Ajay Rajendran, vice chairman, Sobha Group.

“Sheikh Zayed Road is the landmark business address in Dubai, so what better place for us to mark our entry into the hotel development and operations arena? We are thrilled to have secured a prominent plot in TECOM, which will afford our guests easy access to the business zones of Dubai Media and Internet Cities, as well as being in close proximity to the Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai,” he added.

According to Ajay Rajendran, Sobha Hotels will benchmark against the best resort properties and luxury hotels in the region.

“We have been outfitting palace interiors for a long time and know all about creating high-end interiors. Our hands-on experience in creating residential and commercial buildings, their planning and building maintenance, has given us adequate exposure to the build and operate concept of project management. It is now our aim to transfer our expertise to the hospitality sector, to create a chain of five-star properties under the brand Sobha Hotels,” Rajendran said.

“Sobha Group is all about high-quality finishes and on-time completion. These pillars, coupled with Sobha’s unique service delivery, will make Sobha Hotels an international-standard chain,” he added.

Sobha Group will own, develop and operate all Sobha Hotels. The first Sobha Hotels property is expected to open in 2011. The Group has plans to develop a portfolio of 2,500 rooms.