Accor, the world’s leading augmented hospitality group, is planning for accelerated growth in the Middle East & Africa (MEA), with innovative hotels and resorts, and a focus on lifestyle and entertainment.
Accor currently operates over 260 properties with more than 60,000 rooms across 36 countries in the MEA region. The company unveiled its future plans at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2019.
With more than 20 projects opening in 2019, Accor has highlighted strong development opportunities for its portfolio of residences, extended-stay and lifestyle brands, as well as the growth potential for all-inclusive luxury resorts.
“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,” explained Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Middle East & Africa.
“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.”
Lifestyle brands gaining momentum
Accor’s augmented lifestyle portfolio currently includes Jo&Joe, Mama Shelter, and partnerships with 25Hours and sbe Entertainment – including the Delano, SLS, The House of Originals, Mondrian and Hyde brands.
Jo&Joe hotels are designed to meet the expectations of millennials, while Mama Shelter offers design and comfort with free wifi and free movies.
The company has identified the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman as target growth markets.
The first Mama Shelter, 25Hours and SLS properties are all scheduled to make their Middle East debut in 2020 with launches in Dubai.
SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, set to be one of the tallest hotels and residences in the region, will be housed in a 75-story tower in Business Bay.
It will have 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 brand’s first property outside of Europe and part of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) One Central lifestyle destination, will add 434 rooms to Accor’s current 1,210 rooms at the DWTC complex.
Mama Shelter will introduce 201 rooms and 80 hotel apartments, crafted by interior designer Thierry Gaugin, to Business Bay.
Residences and extended-stay dominate
Accor has the largest portfolio of extended-stay properties outside of the US, with almost 300 properties and 60 more under development.
Upcoming projects include Sofitel Wafi in Dubai, opening in 2020, featuring 97 serviced residences, 501 luxury rooms and suites, and a variety of food & beverage venues and luxury amenities.
All-inclusive entertainment resorts
New to the Middle East market, the company is introducing all-inclusive, all-exclusive and fully-integrated entertainment resorts operated by Rixos.
Rixos Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2018, has 366 rooms and suites, 12 four-bed villas with private pools, 10 restaurants and lounges, a water park, spa, kids’ club, and water sports centre.
Looking ahead, Accor is now in advanced discussions to manage several more all-inclusive entertainment resorts operated by Rixos in major Gulf markets and Egypt.
The Land of Legends, the biggest leisure and entertainment park in Turkey, opened in Belek, Antalya, in July 2016.
A joint venture by Rixos Hotels, Emaar Properties PJSC and Dragone Productions, The Land of Legends mega-resort combines spectacular architecture with multi-sensory experiences and stage and visual art designs by Franco Dragone.
Hotel trends – millennials, green initiatives, and tech
A Lodging Survey from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) recently found that hotels are targeting millennials, prioritising green initiatives and advancing technology.
In January, Marriott International’s experiential hotel brand aimed at millennials, Moxy Hotels, confirmed that it was expanding with six new openings.
Plans for a hotel, immersive art exhibition and music venue, Meow Wolf Phoenix, were also recently announced.