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126574 10 Apr 2019

Accor Reveals Dynamic Roadmap for Accelerating MEA Growth at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

Group identifies segments crucial to ongoing expansion and reinforces lifestyle ambitions and leadership position

Accor, the world’s leading augmented hospitality group, is mapping out its blueprint for accelerated growth in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) at this week’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2019.

The rapidly-expanding Group currently operates over 260 properties with 60,000+ rooms across 36 countries in the region. With more than 20 projects opening in 2019 alone, the Group is highlighting strong development opportunities for its unrivalled portfolio of residences, extended-stay and lifestyle brands, as well as the growth potential for all-inclusive luxury resorts, at the annual hospitality industry forum in Ras Al Khaimah (9-11 April, 2019).

“We have identified a strong consumer appetite for innovative hotels, residences and resorts that have a distinct lifestyle and entertainment focus in strategically-important markets region wide,” explained Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Middle East & Africa.

“With our unrivalled portfolio of brands, agile approach to development and attractive business models, Accor is partnering with like-minded owners and investors to introduce concepts that anticipate current and future guest demands, adding meaningful value in an increasingly competitive market place and offering robust return on investment.”

Willis is one of the high-profile speakers at AHIC’s ‘Synching for Success’ panel session (Wednesday 10 April), and will discuss which business models will retain and attract more owners against a backdrop of increased hotel room supply.


Lifestyle brands gaining momentum

Accor now offers the largest and most diversified portfolio of lifestyle brands in the industry, providing owners with a unique proposition – the opportunity to invest in curated brands and collaborate with their maverick founders and CEOs, while simultaneously leveraging the strength of one of the world’s leading hospitality groups in terms of distribution, loyalty, procurement, regional expertise and more.

The Group’s augmented lifestyle portfolio currently includes Jo&Joe, Mama Shelter, partnerships with 25Hours and sbe Entertainment (including the Delano, SLS, The House of Originals, Mondrian and Hyde brands) and most recently its midscale brand, Tribe, identifying the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman as target growth markets.

Its regional expansion campaign for these concepts is gaining momentum with the first Mama Shelter, 25Hours and SLS properties all on track to make their Middle East debut in 2020 with hotly-anticipated launches in Dubai.

First SLS Hotel in Dubai, project announced by sbe in March 2019

SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, considered the cornerstone of sbe’s Middle East development strategy and set to be one of the tallest hotels and residences in the region, will be housed in a 75-story tower in Business Bay. It will feature 254 design-led hotel rooms, 371 branded residences, 321 hotel apartments, one of the highest swimming pools in the world and sbe’s signature culinary concepts.

sbe, in which Accor purchased a 50% stake in October 2018, is a hospitality specialist  that develops, manages and operates hotels, residences, restaurants and nightclubs in partnership with cultural visionaries. Louis Abboud, Vice President Development, Accor Middle East, will speak to these attributes at AHIC’s ‘three-minute pitch to owners’ session (Thursday 11 April).

25Hours Dubai hotel, the brand’s first property outside of Europe and part of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) One Central lifestyle destination, will add 434 keys to Accor’s current 1,210-room cluster of economy and midscale brands at the DWTC complex.  Mama Shelter will introduce 201 rooms and 80 hotel apartments crafted by interior designer Thierry Gaugin to Business Bay.


Residences and extended-stay dominate pipeline

With 28 residential and extended-stay brands across its portfolio, each of which catering to a specific industry segment, Accor is well positioned to meet robust demand for projects of this nature region wide.

Fairmont Residences Royal Palm Marrakech available for sale

The MEA accounts for 40% of the group’s residential pipeline of 60-plus projects, with Accor offering 16 brands within its residential portfolio across its midscale to luxury segments. Offering both stand-alone branded residences in key markets and co-located opportunities throughout the region, Accor’s value proposition to developers delivers enhanced hotel economics, residential sales & marketing support, a professionally managed homeowner’s association, rental solutions and an industry-leading ownership benefits programme. Among the recent launches in the Middle East & Africa is Fairmont Residences Royal Palm Marrakech offering 39 private villas and representing the first residences concept of its kind in the Moroccan city.

The group is also the leading operator with the largest portfolio of extended-stay properties outside of the US, boasting a network of almost 300 properties and 60 more under development. In 2018, the group witnessed 100% development growth in the MEA as global demand for this type of product gained momentum and as a result, it is on track to more than triple its portfolio from 10 to 30-plus stand-alone and co-located extended-stay projects by 2022.

With 12 brands in the extended-stay space, Accor is reimagining this product and service offering and eyeing opportunities to leverage its expertise in strategic locations where large infrastructure projects demand this type of hospitality concept. Pipeline projects include Sofitel Wafi in Dubai, featuring 97 serviced residences (opening in 2020) in addition to 501 luxury rooms & suites, and a variety of food & beverage venues and luxury amenities.


All-inclusive entertainment resorts

Accor is also championing a hospitality concept that is new to the Middle East market – all-inclusive, all-exclusive and fully-integrated entertainment resorts operated by Rixos, a brand with a unique positioning that has fast gained market traction since the Group took a share in the company.

Rixos Saayidat Island, Abu Dhabi, opened in December 2018

The October 2018 opening of Rixos Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi features 366 rooms and suites, 12 four-bed villas with private pools, 10 restaurants and lounges, a water park, spa, kids’ club, water sports centre and much more. This tested new hospitality formula proved an overnight success, appealing to guests from major regional and global source markets who appreciate luxury, high service standards, value for money and innovative entertainment and dining all under one roof.

Looking ahead, Accor is now in advanced discussions to manage several more all-inclusive entertainment resorts operated by Rixos in major Gulf markets, as well as leisure destination favourite, Egypt.

Accor’s Global Chief Development Officer, Gaurav Bhushan and Fettah Tamince, Founder & Chairman of Rixos Hotels will discuss MEA development opportunities for all-inclusive resorts as part of the ‘Disrupting traditional lifestyle luxury’ session at AHIC (Tuesday 9 April).


Accor’s AHIC speaker line up

Tuesday 9 April

16:20 – 16:40

AHIC Leadership Talk – What is your compass in times of disruption, innovation and global turmoil?

Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Accor

16:40 – 17:00

Disrupting traditional all-inclusive – changing the business model

Gaurav Bhushan, Global Chief Development Officer, Accor

Fettah Tamince, Founder and Chairman, Rixos Hotels

Wednesday 10 April

11:40 – 12:20

Synchronised for success – what business models are evolving to help retain and attract more owners and investors?

Mark Willis, CEO, Middle East and Africa, Accor

12:40 – 13:10

The Edge of Wildness – adventure tourism luxury concepts

Adrian Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer, Mantis Collection

17:00 – 18:30

Lifestyle brands – three-minute pitch to investors

Louis Abi Abboud, Vice President Development, Accor Middle East



Accor is a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique and meaningful experiences in more than 4,800 hotels, resorts, and residences across 100 countries. With an unrivalled portfolio of brands from luxury to economy, Accor has been providing hospitality savoir-faire for more than 50 years.

Beyond accommodations, Accor enables new ways to live, work, and play with Food & Beverage, nightlife, wellbeing, and coworking brands. To drive business performance, Accor’s portfolio of business accelerators amplify hospitality distribution, operations, and experience. Guests have access to one of the world’s most attractive hotel loyalty programs—Le Club AccorHotels.

Accor is deeply committed to sustainable value creation, and plays an active role in giving back to planet and community. Planet 21 – Acting Here endeavours to act for positive hospitality, while Accor Solidarity, the endowment fund, empowers disadvantaged groups through professional training and access to employment.

Accor SA is publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACRFY) in the United States. For more information visit Or become a fan and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


AHIC, now in its 15th year, is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events in partnership with Middle East business intelligence brand, MEED. 

AHIC creates a knowledge and networking platform for global and regional investors of all backgrounds, offering essential insights to investing in hotels, showcasing regional and international hospitality investment opportunities and facilitating direct connections with hospitality industry stakeholders.  AHIC 2019 will take place in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, from 9 April to 11 April 2019 in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, AHIC 2019 will be co-hosted by its founding patron, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group. AHIC 2019, featuring 100 speakers from around the world and expecting to attract more than 900 delegates in total, has been curated around the theme Synchronised for Success.