Sunday, February 04, 2007

Accor hotel group considers Middle East as its top target

The French Hotel group, Accor, is trying its best to enhance its new markets by pushing in its budget brands in the Middle East and Dubai in particular. Once, the current expansion phase is completed, Middle East is likely to be the top markets of the group.

Accor plans to build about twenty eight new hotels in the region in a span of four years, with half of these in Dubai.

Gilles Pelisson, The Chief Executive Officer of the group mentioned during his recent visit to the UAE that the Middle East, and UAE in particular, is emerging as a platform for their brands and it is necessary to expand. At the moment only three hotels are operated in the city by Accor.

Out of Accor’s twenty eight hotels, six hotels are from Majid Al Futtaim Group, and two from Al Ali Property Investments in UAE. The rest eighteen are in the middle and budget categories. Pelisson is of the opinion that these properties play a major role in increasing the presence of the group in the Middle East. He added that as far as hotel industry is concerned there are plenty of competitors in the five star category, and the three and four star and the economy products are less developed by international competitors. He also stated that Accor aims to operate about seventy to seventy five hotels in Middle East in the next couple of years.

Accor plans to sell its properties worth about three billion euros in three years, though it doesn’t seem to be keen on investing money for owning assets in the Middle East.

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