Accor wins Saudi hotel deal

Accor has signed a management contract to operate Zam Zam Tower, a 1240-residential suite property located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  November 7, 2004

Accor has signed a management contract to operate Zam Zam Tower, a 1240-residential suite property located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The agreement with Munshaat Real Estate, a Kuwait-based real estate investment company developing the new property, also marks Accor’s entry into the timeshare sector. Zam Zam Tower will provide an Islamic alternative to the holiday ownership system. “It is the same principle as timeshare except there is only one property and there is no exchange system. Accor is a company attracted by innovation, and we were impressed by the quality of the Munshaat development in the Holy city of Makkah. The Zam Zam Tower is a good project, well located and with excellent exposure,” Christophe Landais, regional director, Accor Middle East, told Hotelier Middle East. The 1240-unit property will offer luxury suites ranging from studios capable of accommodating four persons up to two-bedroom Royal suites suitable for families of six. Members will be able to purchase units of time under a system called Sokouk Al-Intifa’a. The system will operate according to the Islamic calendar, with owners buying specific weeks. This will enable them to return to the same apartment for the same week each year, exchange for another time of year, let friends and family use, or invest with Accor and make a premium. Members will own their Sokouk unit on a leasehold of 24 years. A percentage of the total inventory will be available for Accor to market through its global distribution channels. Accor already has 1000 rooms in Saudi Arabia and has had a presence in the country for the past five years. Future plans include a possible second venture with Munshaat Real Estate in Madinah. “Makkah is the fastest growing market in Saudi Arabia. A second property in Madinah would complete the circle,” Landais adds. Zam Zam Tower is located close to the Holy Mosque. It is part of the seven-tower Al Beit development, which will also include one independently managed hotel, and five residential towers.

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