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Aggressive Expansion Plans for Shama Serviced Apartments in Asia

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Friday, 22 February 2008

Shama has an aggressive growth strategy which includes openings in mainland China and key gateway cities across Asia. By end 2010, Shama plans to have over 40 properties in 16 cities across the region. By the end of this year, the company will have a portfolio of 1,200 apartments with the aim of becoming the premier provider of luxury boutique serviced apartments in Asia by 2010.

Shama was co-founded in Hong Kong by Elaine Young in 1996. In 2006, Morgan Stanley Real Estate acquired a majority interest in the company with Gateway Capital as a secondary shareholder. Since then, Shama's portfolio has grown from five properties in one city to nine buildings in three cities as of this month.

Today, Shama boasts seven Hong Kong properties in the city's most sought-after locations: Causeway Bay, Central, Hollywood Road, Midlevels, Soho, Wanchai and the recently opened Tsim Sha Tsui. Shama will open its eighth Hong Kong building in Fortress Hill in Q2 2008.

Shama is also aggressively expanding into China, having introduced its first mainland property in 2007 in Shanghai's fashionable Xintiandi district. Another property in Xujiahui, Shanghai opened in January 2008 and the brand's first Beijing building will launch in April. Shama Luxe at Grand Central, Dalian, opens in Q3 2008.

"At Shama, we aim to create living environments where residents can feel truly at home. We are taking our brand to key gateway cities across the region over the next few years. We will do this through a combination of management agreements, joint ventures and acquisitions, depending on the market particulars and opportunities that present themselves," said CEO Elaine Young.

Shama also recently welcomed two new members to its management team.

Mr Bhupesh Yadav joined in January as Chief Operating Officer, with over 20 years' experience in the serviced apartment sector in the Asia Pacific region. Mr Yadav was trained at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and France's Institut de Management Hotelier International before embarking on a career in operations with Frasers Hospitality and the Ascott Group amongst others.

Mr Kenneth Kerr will join the company on 1st April as Chief Financial Officer. Mr Kerr has spent over 15 years holding various financial management roles and focusing on deal sourcing and transacting as well as accounting systems management. He also benefits from a decade's worth of experience in the hospitality industry, having worked with names like InterContinental, Elegant Hotels Group, Bass Hotel and Resorts and Kingdom Hotel Investments.

These two key additions will give Shama the expertise and experience needed to help it achieve its aggressive expansion plans.

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