Accor is shedding light on its plans for growth in the Middle East and Africa at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2019.
The hospitality giant has over 20 regional projects in line for 2019 alone and is promoting strong development opportunities for its portfolio of residences, extended-stay and lifestyle brands, as well as the growth potential for all-inclusive luxury resorts.
CEO, Accor Middle East and Africa, Mark Willis commented: “We have identified a strong consumer appetite for innovative hotels, residences and resorts that have a distinct lifestyle and entertainment focus in strategically-important markets region wide.
“With our unrivalled portfolio of brands, agile approach to development and attractive business models, Accor is partnering with like-minded owners and investors to introduce concepts that anticipate current and future guest demands, adding meaningful value in an increasingly competitive market place and offering robust return on investment,” he added.
Accor has a portfolio of diverse lifestyle brands that currently includes Jo&Joe, Mama Shelter, partnerships with 25Hours and sbe Entertainment (including the Delano, SLS, The House of Originals, Mondrian and Hyde brands), and most recently its midscale brand, Tribe, identifying the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman as target growth markets.
Its regional expansion campaign for these concepts is gaining momentum, with the first Mama Shelter, 25Hours and SLS properties scheduled to make their Middle East debut in 2020.
SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences will be housed in a 75-story tower in Business Bay and will boast 254 design-led hotel rooms, 371 branded residences, 321 hotel apartments, one of the highest swimming pools in the world and sbe’s signature culinary concepts.
25Hours Dubai, the brand’s first property outside of Europe and part of the Dubai World Trade Centre One Central lifestyle destination, will add 434 keys to Accor’s current 1,210-room cluster of economy and midscale brands at the DWTC complex, while Mama Shelter will introduce 201 rooms and 80 hotel apartments to Business Bay.
Moving on to residences and extended-stay options, Accor is well positioned to meet robust demand for this type of accommodation in the region, with 28 residential and extended-stay brands across its portfolio.
The MEA accounts for 40 per cent of the group’s residential pipeline of 60-plus projects, with Accor offering 16 brands within its residential portfolio across its midscale to luxury segments. Among the recent launches in the region is Fairmont Residences Royal Palm Marrakech, which houses 39 private villas.
The group is also the leading operator with the largest portfolio of extended-stay properties outside of the US, boasting a network of almost 300 properties and 60 more under development. In 2018, the group witnessed 100 per cent development growth in MEA for this type of product and is on track to more than triple its portfolio from 10 to 30-plus stand-alone and co-located extended-stay projects by 2022.
Pipeline projects include Sofitel Wafi in Dubai, featuring 97 serviced residences (opening in 2020) in addition to 501 luxury rooms and suites, F&B venues and luxury amenities.
Finally, Accor is also committed to developing a concept that is relatively new to the Middle East market: all-inclusive, all-exclusive and fully-integrated entertainment resorts. The group recently joined forces with Rixos hotels, having taken a share of the company, and celebrated the launch of Rixos Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi last year. This property boasts 366 rooms and suites, 12 four-bed villas with private pools, 10 restaurants and lounges, a water park, a spa, a kids’ club, a water sports centre and much more.
Accor is now in advanced discussions to manage several more all-inclusive entertainment resorts operated by Rixos in major Gulf markets, as well as Egypt.