Crystalbrook Collection’s Chairman and Founder, Ghassan Aboud, has made a fleeting visit to Cairns to inspect construction progress on the company’s three new projects and says he is “thrilled” both by how the projects are progressing and by the warm welcome he has received from the Cairns community.

“Cairns really feels like my second home,” he said. “The people here are so kind and friendly… I am also very pleased with the pace at which work is progressing. I couldn’t be happier right now.”

Aboud’s AUD $370 million investment across the three Cairns Crystalbrook Collection hotels will generate 2,000 jobs during the construction phase and a further 500 jobs once operational.

The first hotel on Cairns’ Northern Esplanade and will open in 2018 and will feature 311 rooms, a lagoon style pool, exquisite restaurant and bar selections, a spa and special zones for children, recreation and quiet time.

Aboud’s second project in the Cairns CBD will open in 2019. He says the 222 room hotel will capture the essence of tropical Far North Queensland and the development will offer formal and informal meeting nooks as well as dining options styled on Aussie cuisine with a touch of Europe.

The third project on Cairns’ Central Esplanade is set to open in 2020. Aboud says the modern, transformative 280 room property will offer diverse contemporary design, staying attuned to the needs and wants of the connected traveller. Dynamic bars, street food eateries and lounges will incorporate the authentic city culture while a contemporary wellness and fitness centre set within the lush tropical gardens will offer holistic health experiences including yoga and meditation.

While in Cairns, Ghassan Aboud and Mark Davie, CEO of Crystalbrook Collection, also hosted a business dinner to show appreciation for local partners who have supported Crystalbrook Collection since the beginning.

Attendees at the dinner included Andy Taylor, Managing Director of Prime Group who are responsible for the development of all three hotels, John Morris, Wendy Morris, incoming Chairperson at Tropical Tourism North Queensland, Michael Huelin, Partner at WGC Lawyers and Danny Betros, Managing Director of Cairns at CBRE Australia.


“Acknowledging the local support is very important to us,” said Laura Davie, Group Director – Operations and Human Resources at Crystalbrook Collection.

“As a company, we have always placed great emphasis on employing locally wherever we can and to creating future opportunities for that community.”

Earlier in the week, Aboud and Mark Davie were officially welcomed by the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and his Ministerial team in Canberra at Parliament House.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management