Accor flexes its brand muscle
In 2018, Accor witnessed an historic year, with a record number of hotel openings and signings and the acquisition of 14 new brands. The augmented hospitality group opened 100,000 guestrooms, including both organic growth and acquisitions, and signed agreements to manage almost 500 new hotels, representing 110 more than in 2017.In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), one of Accor’s fastest-growing markets for development, the acquisitions have bolstered its portfolio to more than 260 properties with 60,000-plus rooms across 36 countries region wide (as of April 8, 2019). They have also provided a springboard for accelerated growth, with more than 20 projects opening in 2019 alone.
“2018 was an outstanding year for Accor with brand acquisitions and new hotel signings consolidating our leadership position in the Middle East and Africa and providing travellers with an unparalleled choice of innovative world-class hospitality concepts,” explains chief executive officer, MEA, Mark Willis. “We continue to build on these achievements in 2019 as we open a raft of new properties and identify opportunities to rapidly expand our portfolio of new and existing brands.” Willis added: “There is a strong consumer appetite for innovative hotels, residences and resorts that have a distinct lifestyle and entertainment element and pinpointing growth markets for each will become a focal point of our development strategy for the region going forward.” Following the success of Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech, which opened its doors as one of the Moroccan capital’s most sought-after properties in 2017, the second phase of this prestigious development – Fairmont Residences Royal Palm Marrakech – launched earlier this year. The 298-key Fairmont Riyadh - the closest luxury hotel to King Khalid International Airport - opened earlier this year. Accor has identified the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman as target growth markets in the region. Its regional expansion campaign includes the first Mama Shelter, 25Hours and SLS properties all on track to make their MiddleEast debut in 2020. SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, considered the cornerstone of sbe’s Middle East development strategy and set to be one of the tallest hotels and residences in the region, will be housed in a 75-storey tower in Business Bay. It will feature 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 hotel, the disruptive hospitality brand’s first property outside of Europe and part of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) 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 crafted by interior designer Thierry Gaugin to Dubai’s Business Bay. Fairmont Abu Dhabi Marina’s two elegant towers will meet in a magnificent arch high above the famous Corniche, revealing breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf on one side and the city’s imposing skyline on the other. This cosmopolitan retreat will feature 563 rooms and suites with contemporary Arabian design and stunning Gulf or Corniche views. Sofitel Dubai Wafi is set to be the luxury hotel brand’s largest property in the Middle East with 598 keys spanning 501 luxury rooms and suites and 97 serviced residences.