Accor to double regional base in three years

Accor claims that it is on track to become one of the largest hotel groups in the Middle East. The company has disclosed that it expects to more than double the number of hotels under its management in the region within the next three years alone, and is expected to increase its regional base to 35 hotels and more than 5,000 rooms over the next three years.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  May 5, 2005

Accor claims that it is on track to become one of the largest hotel groups in the Middle East. The company has disclosed that it expects to more than double the number of hotels under its management in the region within the next three years alone, and is expected to increase its regional base to 35 hotels and more than 5,000 rooms over the next three years. The French hotel company, which currently operates 17 hotels in the region, including four Sofitels, three Novotels, and several Mercure hotels together offering more than 3,500 rooms, is expected to announce a number of new management contracts and construction start-ups for hotels in the Middle East region during the first half of this year. “Accor’s long term strategy is to have a Sofitel and Novotel in every major city in the Middle East,” says Christophe Landais, managing director, Middle East, Accor. “But we have now moved from intention to commitment with construction under way on major new projects in Saudi Arabia and Syria, the opening of a Mercure hotel in Jeddah in February, and another scheduled to open in Makkah later this year. A Novotel is under construction in Riyadh, while a Sofitel is being built in Al Khobar. “We will be signing important agreements shortly for further Sofitels and hotels under other Accor brands elsewhere in the Gulf by mid-2005. “In addition, we are set for a significant expansion of the Ibis network across the region,” Landais reveals. Accor recently won the international bid for the hotel management contract for what will become the world’s largest Sofitel, now under construction in Makkah at a total cost of US $600 million. The Zam Zam Sofitel Grand Suites will provide 1,250 luxury suites, many of them on a time-share basis, and is scheduled to open in September 2006. “We are confident that the business and travel market in the region will continue to grow rapidly and that we shall achieve our target of being perhaps the leading player in hotels in the Middle East within the next decade,” Landais states. The company is participating in the Arabian Travel Market where its exhibition stand will focus on its current network and future expansion in the Middle East.

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