Hotel News ME profiles the hotel group’s 2014 achievements, its future goals, plus its planned Middle East pipeline
Accor operates more than 3,700 hotels and 480,000 rooms with a presence in 92 counties. Its extensive portfolio spans17 brands from luxury to economy. These include Sofitel, Pullman MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget. Globally, one hotel is opened every two days and the group employs nearly 170,000 people.
Current MEA properties
Accor HotelServices Middle East is one of the region’s fastest growing hotel groups, with a portfolio comprising 69 operational hotels (more than17,000 rooms) and 40 hotels under development (almost 9,500 rooms). In the Middle East, Accor has a presence in 10 countries.
Suite Novotel: 1
Grand Mercure: 1
Ibis Styles: 1
Suite Novotel: 1
Grand Mercure: 1
Upcoming MEA properties
Pullman Dubai Jumeirah Lakes (354 rooms)
Suite Novotel Riyadh Dyar (88 rooms)
Adagio Premium Dubai Al Barsha (199 rooms)
Pullman ZamZamMadinah (834 rooms)
Ibis Styles Dragon Mart (249 rooms)
Sofitel Jeddah Corniche (189 rooms)
Ibis Manama Seef, Bahrain (304 rooms)
NovotelMarsaAlam Resort, Egypt (268 rooms)
MercureKarnakLouxor, Egypt (347 rooms)
- Ibis Stylesis Accor’s newest economy brand joining the existing Ibis and Ibis Budget brands. Located in or close to city centres, each property offers an “upbeat, stylish, vibrant, trendy and urban experience”. The brand is distinctive for its inclusive all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet package and free Wi-Fi. Ibis Styles will make its Middle East debut in Dubai at International City’s Dragon Mart and Mall complex. The Ibis Styles Dragon Mart will be attached to the new Dragon Mart development. A second Dubai property,Ibis Styles Business Bay, is scheduled to open in 2017.
- Aparthotels Adagio is another newcomer, providing upper-midscale serviced apartment accommodation for corporate, extended stay and leisure travellers, particularly families. Three properties are already up and running in the Middle East with plans afoot for 11 Adagios to open region wide over the next three years.
Christophe Landais, Chief Operating Office, Accor Hotel Services Middle East
The hotel group’s key achievements and milestones in 2014
- 100 hotels mark:Accor reached its 100-hotel target for the region earlier than anticipated, with 10 hotels (2,500 rooms) opened in 2014.The company has 22 new hotel projects signed (9,500 rooms).
- ‘Leading Digital Hospitality’ plan: Launched in Q3, 2014, this five-year €225 million (US$251 million) investment plan includes the development of “more robust information systems, distribution infrastructure and data gathering capabilities that will create a seamless journey for customers, a more transparent relationship with partners and a more digitally empowered Accor team”. Building on the launch of Accor’s Arabic language website, the plan’s roll-out also includes improved mobile applications, an extension of the tailored deal search engine and a further expansion of Accor’s loyalty programme.
- New brand –Majilis Grand Mercure: Launched in 2014, this ‘glocal’ brandcombines global know-how with local culture, tailor-made for what is preferred by Middle Eastern guests, but also for international customers seeking authenticity and sense of place. Everything from the uniform to guest greetings is localised. The brand is developed under the Grand Mercure umbrella and is positioned in the upscale five-star segment.
Group and industry challenges faced
At Accor we are monitoring the effect of declining oil prices very closely. Until now we have not noticed any major impact, although it will probably influencethe oil and gas sector’s expenditure in the short term, with knock-on affects for the meetings sector.
In addition to the aggressive roll out of our digital strategy, we also aim to make significant progressin reaching our ambitious target of 30,000 rooms in operation in the Middle East by 2020.
The importance of technology
We launched our five-year €225 million (US$251 million)‘Leading Digital Hospitality’ plan last year in a bid to enhance the digital experience of all our stakeholders.Digital technology is massively important in the Middle East where social media is a growing part of daily life and smartphone penetration levels are the highest in the world. In response, not only are we improving our online booking services, we will also increasingly welcome guests through their smartphone or tablet. In everything we do, we are creating a richer digital-enabled Accor experience. Accor’s ‘Welcome Project’, which allows guests to check-in online, will be deployed throughout the Middle East in 2015