x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Accor to operate Ibis hotel at Dubai World Trade Centre

Construction of the largest Ibis property in Dubai is expected to begin this month.

The French hotel company Accor will operate a 588-room Ibis at the Dubai World Trade Centre District – its largest Ibis-branded property in the Middle East – as it looks to tap into the growing market for business travellers.

Accor already operates a Novotel and an Ibis in the area. The new property will bring Accor’s room count in the district to 1,210.

The largest Ibis in Asia is in Bandung, West Java with 606 rooms, which opened in 2012.

Construction of the Ibis Dubai World Trade Centre District is expected to begin this month. It is due to be completed towards the end of next year, when the first phase of the Dubai World Trade Centre District is scheduled to be ready. The hotel is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016.

The first phase of the district will also include three commercial buildings. The site between the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Emirates Towers is undergoing a re-master planning. The area covers 146,000 square metres.

The property will target international and regional business, leisure and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions travellers with its three meeting rooms.

Hotels close to the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre are booked out despite high room rates ahead of conferences such as during May’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference and Arabian Travel Market. Ahead of the trade fairs, for instance, Ibis Dubai World Trade Centre had room rates of US$245 a night that month, excluding breakfast and taxes. The same rooms started at $74 later in the month.

Dubai has the highest room rates in the Gulf. In April, the average rate in the city touched $283.65, compared with $270.73 in Muscat and $248.88 in Jeddah, according to the consultancy STR Global.

As Dubai aims to attract 20 million travellers per year by 2020, it is targeting to have at least 20 per cent of them travel for business, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Accor said 10 Ibis hotels accounting for 2,500 rooms are under development in Middle East. Its 65 hotels with more than 15,600 rooms in the Middle East includes 14 Ibis hotels accounting for over 3,000 guest rooms.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights