With a total investment of $130 million, Accor Hospitality, the European hotel management group, plans to open 39 properties (6,500 rooms) in the GCC by 2012/13, in addition to the existing 20 properties, according to the company’s top executive.
These would include introducing new Accor global brands to the region’s Accor portfolio. “Of the 39 Accor group hotels under construction in the region, 20 will be within the UAE itself. These will also include some new Accor brands such as Suitehotel and Pullman,” Christophe Landais, Managing Director of Accor Hospitality Middle East, told Emirates Business.
Landais was talking on the sidelines of the launch of Ibis Salmiya Kuwait, the first Accor business economy hotel in Kuwait, scheduled to open on March 20.
Accor Hospitality opened about 16 new group hotels in 2007 in the Middle East, with 10 due for opening this year. “These include one Sofitel, one Novotel [in addition to the existing one], one Suitehotel and two more Ibis hotels in Dubai; and one Sofitel and four Novotels in Saudi Arabia. We also have 18 hotels in the pipeline in Bahrain, UAE and Qatar,” said Landais.
The Accor group hotels in the Middle East comprise nine existing Mercure hotels in the region; three existing Novotel hotels, with 15 more open; one each of Suitehotel and Pullman to open; seven existing Sofitel hotels, with seven more to open; and one Ibis hotel with 14 more to open.
With an aggressive expansion strategy in place, Accor Hospitality has achieved 22 per cent growth in its GCC revenues, according to Landais. “The group’s revenues for 2007 rest at Dh536 million, with the UAE accounting for 80 per cent of that,” said Landais.
Meanwhile, with the first Ibis Salmiya to open in Kuwait in March, and the second one under construction (to open in 2009), Accor plans to have a have a critical mass of 22 opened Ibis hotels by 2011 throughout the Middle East.
Globally, Accor has opened more than 50,000 new rooms since early 2006, of which 28,000 were in 2007. There are another 93,000 rooms in the pipeline.
Overall, 92 per cent of the openings in 2007 were in the economy and mid-scale segments, 38 per cent were in emerging markets and 93 per cent through low capital-intensive ownership structures.
Accor’s net profit for 2007 recorded a 76 per cent increase to reach €883m.
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