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In a credIt-crunched, down-sized reality world, Whitbread's Premier Inn budget chain has chosen just the right moment to rescue harassed corporate travel buyers, by opening its first hotel outside the UK.
More hotels are planned for the Middle East, where the first was opened in Dubai by Sheik Maktoum in April, heralding a joint venture with the Emirates Group.
While most Dubai hotel rooms start at around £300 a night, Premier Inn, which has 500 UK properties, charges £62 .
"That's unheard of in Dubai, which is desperate for accommodation," says Stewart Angus, divisional senior vice president, associated companies for Emirates. "It appeals to business travellers who don't want luxury, just a comfortable room and to be able to hook up their laptop."
Dubai gleams with glass and soaring towers between motorways where hotels stand out like palaces, each more amazing than the one before. Just one snag: "Everybody is trying to outdo each other and become even more spectacular, but so many business people don't want all the trappings. Some arrive at 4am, are out again at 7am and don't get back till nine at night. They just want a bed," says Angus. "We even have expats coming to us from Oman and other places in the region."
The hotel is two miles from the airport in the Dubai Investment Park, but Angus says: "We're not on the flightpath and not on a trading estate. It's more like a residential park." Another Premier Inn is due to open next year at the imaginatively named Silicone Oasis.
Although eschewing "trappings", the Premier Inn boasts a rooftop swimming pool, TV in all 308 rooms, along with the vital Wifi, and there's a big screen down in the bar for equally vital football matches.
"At £62 a night, people can have a good value meal or room service," he says. "We're training our staff to show that a three-star hotel can offer five-star service." And for expenses-slashed business travellers, in Dubai, that really is a bonus.