Accor plans Adagio launch in Abu Dhabi

Karaoglanian...large-scale expansion

ACCOR Middle East has announced plans to introduce the Adagio brand in the region with the opening of the Adagio City Aparthotel in Abu Dhabi in 2012.

This will be the first of the company’s ambitious plans to open more than 80 Adagio properties across Europe, the Middle East and Africa by 2014. The Middle East alone is expected to get 10 Adagio properties in markets including Saudi Arabia.

The brand, launched in 2007, offers guests three-star apartments with extended services and will be a part of Accor Middle East’s expansion plans under which 19 properties will be launched in the region by 2014.

According to Christian Karaoglanian, chief development officer for Accor group, the region continues to be a key development area for Accor. 'We have plans to open five properties in Abu Dhabi, four in Dubai and two in Fujairah by 2014, taking our room inventory in the UAE to 5,250 and our regional portfolio to 73 hotels,' he said.

Karaoglanian is also confident of the region irrespective of the recent unrest saying: 'What happened in Egypt or Bahrain will not alter our developments for the region. Bahrain has had some issues, but the other countries are as stabilised as our markets in Europe or the US. We need to be optimistic and whichever government you have, tourism is important for the company and we don’t have any reason to be worried. In fact we have seen a surge in demand for rooms in the UAE, especially from the European markets and closer from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.'

Performance in Dubai was strong in 2010 and properties in the UAE recorded close to 80 per cent occupancies in the first quarter of 2011.

'Dubai has managed to benefit, in terms of tourism arrivals, from the unrest we have seen in the rest of the region. In 2011, we expect revpar for our properties in the UAE to see a double-digit growth of 10 to 15 per cent whereas markets such as Bahrain and Egypt will take some time before we can improve revpars,' said Karaoglanian.

Accor’s revenues in the UAE market rose 22.75 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2010.

In terms of development, the hotspot for Accor is currently Saudi Arabia. 'It is a country with a large domestic tourism market and wealth not to mention the huge levels of investment the country is making towards its economy and infrastructure. At Accor, we have plans to launch 15 Ibis brand hotels, which we believe will be driven by the growing inbound travel,' he added.

Karaoglanian believes Qatar too is a key market and the company recently signed for a Pullman with further plans to develop the Sofitel and Novotel brands.

While Ibis continues to be a key growth market, Karaoglanian added that Accor also has plans to strengthen its position in the luxury, upscale and midscale segments. n