Olivier Granet. Olivier Granet.

AccorHotels is signing one property every two weeks and opening a hotel every month in Middle East and Africa.

According to AccorHotels managing director and chief operating officer Olivier Granet the trend has “accelerated over the last 12 months”.

“As of April 2017, we opened the same number of keys as we did in 2016 across six properties [as of April]. By the end of this year, we expect to open almost 20 hotels in the region.

“We already opened more than 2000 keys in the Middle East - and as a trend we open around 3000-4000 keys a year - this continues to remain our focus for this year as well,” Granet told Hotelier Middle East at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference.

Granet also talked about the operator’s goals for Africa and Middle East. “By the end of this year we will reach 200 hotels in operation, in the Middle East and Africa region. As of today we have 28,000 rooms in the Middle East, and 15,000 rooms in Africa. We have more than 40,000 rooms in operation in this region.

“In the Middle East we want to have 50,000 rooms in operation by 2020, which means to double the existing network of rooms in the four years. We are looking to double our network in Africa – aiming to reach 200 hotels as well,” Granet said.

Having established a strong presence across the Middle East and Africa, Granet is not losing sleep over markets the operator is not present in. He feels, however, there are different market segments the operator can tap into.

“There is some opportunities in Dubai to develop more segments. Lifestyle is the future of Dubai and we need to ensure it’s not defined by the product or the design but by the experience we give our guests,” Granet said.

AccorHotels announced Dubai’s - and the region's - first Mama Shelter at AHIC, Granet hinted at the possibility of two more brands making its way to Dubai.

Granet said: “We expect our brands such as 25 Hours and So will come to the market. There are still opportunities in the three- and four-star segment in Dubai, and this is a segment that can be not only developed for business but for leisure as well.”

He added: “There’s a lot left to be achieved in Saudi Arabia and Egypt – where there is no international economy hotel brand present in more than 80 million-strong country. There is good opportunity to develop that segment on the top of what exists today.”

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