The owner of hotel brands including Sofitel, Pullman and Ibis is launching a chain of aparthotels in the region, with the first property scheduled to open in Abu Dhabi later this year.
Accor to open hotel apartments in UAE
Accor Middle East, which owns hotel brands including Sofitel and Pullman, is launching a chain of hotel apartments in the region, with the first property due to open later this year in Abu Dhabi.
Adagio Aparthotels, a joint venture between Accor and Pierre & Vacances, a French company, has 10,000 apartments across Europe.
Middle East visitors make up 6 per cent of Adagio's guests overall, but a significant proportion in some properties. In Munich, a city popular for medical tourism among Arabian Gulf nationals, the number stands at 25 per cent.
"During July and August, for example, in our aparthotel in Paris, it is around 18 per cent," said Martine Balouka-Vallette, the chief executive of Adagio.
"Abu Dhabi is an important city for us. We have quite a lot of clients coming from Abu Dhabi," he added.
The Adagio Al Bustan, which will have 279 apartments, is scheduled to open by October. It will be a 10-minute drive from Abu Dhabi airport and accessible from the Musaffah and Maqta bridges.
"The next opening will be in Fujairah in spring next year," said Hans-Peter Kolditz, Adagio's development director. "It's a smaller one. It's 72 apartments. It's a combination with a Novotel [182 guest rooms], an Ibis  and an Adagio."
Over the next three years, Accor Middle East aims to develop 10 Adagio properties, five of which will be either under construction or fully operational by the end of the year.
The chain is in advanced talks to open properties in Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, Mecca, Dammam and Al Khobar. It is also seeking a location in Dubai.
The Adagio chain had 16 aparthotels in Europe in 2007, the year it was founded, but by this year the number had grown to 100. About 70 per cent of its clients are companies, with leisure bookings making up the rest.
"We started in 2008 already in negotiations in the Middle East, so in the Middle East we are working with the Accor Group, which is already well established in the region and we are developing together with them.
"I would have liked to open Abu Dhabi in 2008 but development takes some time," said Mr Kolditz.