Accor offers an alternative to five star

Accor is building on the success of its dual Novotel and Ibis combination at the Dubai World Trade Centre with the signing of a management contract to operate a second Novotel and Ibis development at Al Barsha in Dubai.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  August 3, 2006

Accor is building on the success of its dual Novotel and Ibis combination at the Dubai World Trade Centre with the signing of a management contract to operate a second Novotel and Ibis development at Al Barsha in Dubai. The agreement between Al Ali Property Investments for Hotel & Resorts and Accor will enable the French hospitality company to expand its mid-tier offering in the UAE, offering what Christophe Landais, managing director for Accor Middle East, refers to as ‘and alternative to five-star hotels’. “The objective behind the expansion of the Novotel brand throughout the Middle East is simply a matter of giving business and leisure customers what they want. There’s a huge gap in this fast growing market. Novotel aims to take the lead to satisfy this valuable customer segment by offering comfort and convenience at a sensible rate for domestic and international travellers,” Landais said. Novotel Barsha, which will be ready to welcome guests during 2008, will be in the same lineage as Dubai Novotel WTC, which offers 412 rooms. Strategically located on the front line of Sheikh Zayed Road in Al Barsha area, the 34-storey Novotel hotel will feature 437 guest rooms as well as 90 serviced apartments. The four-star property will also provide specialty restaurants, all-day dining, six meeting rooms, a business centre and a ballroom. It will also house a 300m² fitness centre and a swimming pool with deck and bar. Furthermore, children will be able to stay free on a bed and breakfast basis whilst sharing their parents’ room. Meanwhile, the construction of the Ibis Barsha will begin this summer with a planned completion date of November 2007. The hotel is expected to open to the public in January 2008. According to Landais, the economy Ibis brand will target both domestic and intra-regional travellers. “This will be undoubtedly the strongest growing market over the next five years, and there is the additional benefit of this market sector being less susceptible to world events and economic fluctuations. Through its concept and various products, Ibis targets a key market need in the region, which other international groups have ignored until now,” said Landais. “In the region, the economy sector of the hotel market is largely dominated by individual hotels that may offer variable standards and lack the consistency of service and facilities that travellers expect from a global brand,” he added. By 2009, there will be 23 new Novotel hotels throughout the Middle East, making a total of 6681 rooms. Accor also has plans to almost double its regional base within the next few years. In Dubai, construction is already underway at the site of the Sofitel Old Town, which should be open by April 2007, and a further Sofitel will open in 2008 as part of the Jumeirah Beach Residence complex.

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