GROUND has been broken on the region’s first easyHotel.com property, bringing a splash of orange to the stark desert landscapes, according to a statement.
The company is investing more than $400 million over the next five years, to build 38 easyHotel.com properties in 17 countries.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ionannou’s easyHotel.com is a completely new concept for hotels in the region and the first hotel is expected to open in early 2008. Based on a model already launched in Europe, easyHotel provides safe, clean, private rooms, with en suite facilities at the best possible price and at a fraction of the cost of competitors.
The property is to be sited in the densely populated Karama district, close to the Dubai World Trade Centre and the gleaming Sheikh Zayed Road strip. It is one of six planned for the emirate.
The property is being developed by Istithmar Hotels, which has the master franchise for easyHotel.com in the Middle East, the Levant, North Africa, India and Pakistan.
The agreement with Istithmar will now expand the easyHotel brand across the Arab-speaking world as well as the Indian sub-continent.
The specific countries where easyHotel will be present are: Dubai (six), India (eight), Saudi Arabia (three), Pakistan (three), Egypt (two) Lebanon (two), and one each in Sharjah, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Qatar, Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria. Each hotel will contain between 80 and 120 rooms.
The first easyHotel opened its first hotel in London in August 2005 and a second one in Switzerland in September 2005. It offers short-stay travellers a safe and quality option at around £40 ($78.3) a night in central London, about half the price of other branded budget hotels. Designed for city centres, it offers consumers a recognised brand that delivers a standardised high quality product and banks on customers accepting small, no-frills and simply furnished rooms. All bookings are taken by credit card through the easyHotel.com website.
In a world first, rooms at the easyHotel.com will be pre-fabricated at a single manufacturing site as self-contained units, which are then constructed into a hotel using a ‘stack, connect and stick’ building concept. This sees self-structured units stacked on top of each other, connected with pre-fabricated corridor and lift units, and founded on a concrete platform. A 200-room hotel will be capable of opening within 20 weeks of that concrete podium being completed.