Hospitality group Accor is expanding its already strong presence in the Middle East with new projects in both Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and the UAE’s Dubai.
The company will open its first stand-alone serviced residences in Jeddah and a high-end Rixos resort in Deira, it revealed at this year’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).
Signing a management agreement with Al Raya Estate Group, a real estate developer in KSA, Kuwait and UK, the Swissôtel Living Jeddah is slated for a 2021 opening. It will be attached to the wider J View development in the Kingdom, bringing a wave of new hospitality, office, F&B and retail offerings to the area.
Swissotel Living Jeddah will feature 150 serviced residences including 53 studios, 75 one-bedroom units and 23 two-bedroom units, in addition to an all-day-dining restaurant, a lobby café and pool lounge, nearly 400 sqm of meeting space, an outdoor/indoor gaming area, a fitness centre and a rooftop swimming pool.
According to Accor CEO Middle East and Africa Mark Willis, the debut of the Swissotel Living in KSA taps into the growing extended-stay segment of the market.
He said: “Our extensive research in the Saudi market highlights the growing demand from KSA travellers to stay in serviced apartments and benefit from the additional space with kitchenette facilities and privacy.
"The opening of our first premium stand-alone serviced residences in Jeddah within a high quality mixed-used development is a great opportunity to meet the demand and it will strongly add to Accor’s credentials of being a leader in the extended stay segment.”
Al Raya Real Estate CEO Fahad Al-Alloush added that the signing is testament to Saudi’s rapidly diversifying hospitality sector.
He explained: “We decided to proceed with the Accor Group to introduce the Swissotel Living Brand into the market of Jeddah due to its leadership and expertise in extended-stay brands. We believe Vision 2030 is definitely boosting the transformation of the Saudi tourism and hospitality market, and we are looking forward to explore more opportunities along with Accor in the kingdom”.
A powerhouse in the Arab nation, Accor operates 39 properties in the country, boasting 14,314 keys between them. It also has 34 more hotels in the pipeline with 10,035 keys.
Equally ambitious is the Rixos resort set to open in the Jewel of the Creek masterplan in Dubai. Hoped to transform the location, Jewel of the Creek will span 1 million square metres, adding a range of residential, commercial, hospitality, sports, entertainment, recreational and marina components to Deira.
Teaming with Dubai Developments, Accor’s Rixos Dubai Hotel & Suites Jewel of the Creek will comprise 770 keys, as well as a variety of F&B outlets, a 3,000sqm conference centre, a commercial zone, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a fitness centre, wellness centre, infinity pool and a beach area.
The group is currently operating four Rixos properties in the UAE, including Rixos Premium Dubai JBR, Rixos Dubai the Palm Hotel & Suites, Rixos Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi and Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah.
Willis explained: “The recent development witnessed in the nearby Bur Dubai and Deira districts, with major facelifts and redevelopments initiatives, are expected to further elevate the surroundings and will be incredibly beneficial to existing hotels in the respective areas.”
He added: “We are the largest hotel operator in Dubai and our partnership with Dubai Developments highlights our common goal to strategically develop tourism and meet the demand of today’s travellers in Dubai.”
Once complete, the resort will push Accor’s presence in the UAE to 65 properties and 17,989 keys. There are another 29 projects and 7,900 in the works also.
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