x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Accor plans to open 23 hotels in Middle East within 3 years

Accor, which has hotel brands including Novotel and Ibis, is aiming to open 23 hotels in the Middle East over the next three years.

Accor, which has hotel brands including Novotel and Ibis, plans to open 23 hotels in the Middle East over the next three years, the company said on Monday.

The hotel group, based in France, already operates 56 hotels in the region.

The company is ploughing ahead with its plans to add almost 6,000 hotel rooms to the region by 2015, despite reporting a mixed performance in the region for last year, as hotels struggled in markets affected by unrest including Egypt and Bahrain.

"Projects are well on their way and some of them should have opened last year or earlier this year," said Christophe Landais, the managing director of Accor Middle East.

Accor's revenue per available room, a key industry indicator, grew by 13.3 per cent across its 14 hotels in the UAE last year.

Revenue per available room in the UAE surged by 34 per cent in January compared to the same month last year, Accor said.

Occupancy at Accor's hotels in Dubai grew 17 per cent last year over the previous year. Average rates in its Dubai hotels declined by 3 per cent over the whole of 2011 compared to the previous year, but rates increased in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier, Accor said. Meanwhile, the group's 18 hotels in Egypt experienced a 50 per cent decline in revenue per available room. Bahrain also experienced sharp declines in hotel performance, the company said.

Much of Accor's expansion is focused in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

These properties include a luxury Sofitel hotel on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in April. A Sofitel resort is to open on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai next year.

But some projects were suffering delays, Mr Landais said.

A Pullman hotel planned for Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai was scheduled to open in the second quarter of this year, but has been delayed until later in the year because of licensing and bureaucratic issues, he said.

A Novotel was slated to open in Abu Dhabi last year, but is now not expected to open until next year, Mr Landais said.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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