Grand growth planned for Accor

Accor has signed an agreement with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan to manage the new US $68 million Mercure Grand Hotel and Residence Jumeirah Lake in Dubai.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  January 4, 2006

Accor has signed an agreement with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan to manage the new US $68 million Mercure Grand Hotel and Residence Jumeirah Lake in Dubai. The 33-storey tower will contain 357 units, including 269 rooms and 88 serviced apartments. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in March with a planned completion date of March 2008. The hotel is expected to soft open in May 2008. “We are convinced that all the key elements are combined to create an extremely successful project both financially and image wise,” Christophe Landais, managing director for Accor Middle East, told Hotelier Middle East. “Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan is a prestigious investor. He already owns two properties managed by Accor in Morocco. And Jumeirah Lake is one of the landmark residential districts developed by Nakheel. This is also close to the most dynamic areas of Dubai, such as Dubai Marina, Internet City and Media City,” he added. The five-star property will also offer leisure facilities, conference and meeting space, and a number of F&B outlets, all of which Landais is confident will set the hotel apart from other chains on the Jumeirah strip. “Every Grand Mercure is deeply rooted in its region, city and neighbourhood. These roots are expressed notably through its extensive food and beverage offer, and its reception staff, who all have an in-depth knowledge of the city and its region. We therefore expect the Mercure Grand Hotel and Residence Jumeirah Lake to differentiate itself from the other five-star properties,” he said. In the Middle East, the Grand Mercure brand is already present in three locations: the Grand Mercure Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, the Grand Mercure Seef in Manama and the Grand Mercure Golden in Jeddah. Grand Mercure is the highest brand designation in the Accor portfolio, which also includes Sofitel, Novotel, Ibis and Suitehotel, and the Mercure Grand Hotel and Residence Jumeirah is set to be one of many hotel openings for the French chain in the future. “Accor clearly sees the Middle East as a major pillar of its future and has every confidence that the economic expansion of the region will continue at a rapid pace led by government policies, growing commercial investment and increasing development of tourism,” said Landais, who expects the five brands to be present in every major business and leisure destination in the Middle East. “The constitution of a dense hotel network is a real competitive edge, as it contributes to a strong brand awareness, a more precise product segmentation for well-defined customers and to an optimised price structuring,” Landais explained. Accor is currently leading intensive negotiations for the management of new properties, including Grand Mercure hotels. “Grand Mercure’s growth is linked to its ability to seize the best opportunities at the right time. Accor’s aim is to aggressively continue to grow its Grand Mercure portfolio so that it will comprise at least 15 properties in the Middle East by the end of the decade. Accor is committed to the region and is therefore making every effort to achieve this ambitious Middle East development program,” Landais said. Accor, one of the world’s largest hotels and services groups, is committed to a significant regional expansion plan that is expected to at least triple the company’s regional base over the next four years alone from 18 hotels with 3500 rooms to 52 hotels with more than 12000 rooms.

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