Welcome to the Ibis

Just over a month before the arrival of the annual IMF/World bank meeting in Dubai, European hotel group ACCOR has quietly introduced its economy business class hotel to the Middle East.

  • E-Mail
By  John Irish Published  August 11, 2003

Travellers to Dubai are set to experience the world of budget business accommodation after European hotel group ACCOR opened the doors of its new Ibis hotel on August 09.

The group, which last month opened the mid to upper scale Novotel, claims the 210-room establishment is the first international affiliated business economy hotel in the Middle East.

“The Ibis World Trade Centre is of an international standard, at the best location in town and has rooms at an affordable price to suit limited budget travellers. We are convinced it will be a great success,” said Ignace Bauwens, general manager of ACCOR Hotels World Trade Centre.

Across the world, Ibis has built its reputation on simple, clean and affordable accommodation with round the clock service.

While its strategic location as part of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition complex should ensure a steady flow of business, the concept may prove a little more difficult to introduce in a market traditionally spoilt with 4-5 star accommodation at extremely competitive prices.

“If you look at the concept of Ibis, it’s very comfortable accommodation but very basic in terms of amenities, at least that’s what we’ve seen in the West. It is not something that goes down too well in this market,” says Sumit Acharya, manager for Thomas Cook, UAE.

ACCOR are setting the introductory price of Dhs150 (US $41) prior to the IMF, rising to Dhs250 ($68) during the week and Dhs180 ($49) at weekends post IMF. The costs during major exhibitions are fixed at Dhs350 ($95).

In stark contrast to the much-publicised opening of Dubai’s first Shangri-La hotel in July, ACCOR have opted for a more calculated soft opening of its new hotels targeting October for their grand launch.

Meanwhile, in a sign that competition in the business economy sector is set to grow, Qatar’s government owned National Hotel Company, (QNHC), which owns most of the country’s hotels, has launched an economy hotel brand named Merweb.

According to Jurgen Baumhoff, QNHC’s new CEO, the brand will be promoted regionally as a “hallmark of Qatari hospitality” with the objective of turning it into a chain of branded economy hotels throughout other GCC states.

“Under the Merweb brand, named after the 9th century AD Qatari fortress of the same name, we will also manage properties and facilities throughout the region,” said Baumhoff. “The first Merweb branded and managed property, the Merweb Al Sadd recently opened in Doha,” he added.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code