Israeli hotel chain's global entry began from Bengaluru

The fortunes of Bengaluru’s hospitality industry might be fluctuating. But that has not deterred the Dan Group to set up a 226-room, 25-storey luxury hotel in the heart of Whitefield, a first by an Israeli firm in the country.

The property, The Den, launched its final phase, a rooftop Mediterranean restaurant on Saturday.

So, why did an Israeli firm chose India as its first overseas destination, and why Bengaluru?

“Israel has the largest IT hub outside the Silicon Valley, and Whitefield, being a leading IT hub of India, our choice was clear,” Ronen Nissenbaum, Dan Hotels president and CEO, told
DH.

But, he hastens to add, “We did not build the hotel for Israelis, although there are 120 Israeli companies here, both big and small.
The hotel is very American, very European in its outlook.”

“The group had purchased 2.8 acres 10 years ago with “a five-10 year vision,” as Nissenbaum put it.

The Israeli group fully owns the property, leveraging the government’s decision to allow 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the hospitality sector through the automatic route for all construction development projects, hotels included.

The group’s investment, including the land cost, was Rs 490 crore.

Indo-Isreali relations might have improved over the past four years, but was the political climate conducive for such a high investment?

“Yes, it was a big risk,” said Nissenbaum.

“But relationships have significantly improved now. There is a very strong connection between the two countries now.”

Corporate customers account for about 95% of The Den’s customer base.

A new addition to Whitefield’s fast-growing hospitality space, the hotel’s clientele is 60% foreign in the first 11 months since the launch.

“This is our first property in India. We are now looking at other larger cities with tremendous amount of business.”

Positioned as a luxury hotel around the context of “Eat, Work, Sleep, Play”, The Den has an open bar, a gaming zone, a snooker area, a 15-seater cinema theatre, a helipad and multiple restaurants. Besides the Bengaluru property, the group owns 14 hotels in Israel with 4,000 rooms. Dan Hotels was established in June 1947 by two brothers, Yekutiel and Shmuel Federmann.

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Israeli hotel chain's global entry began from Bengaluru

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