Accor to add 700 rooms at two-hotel cluster near Dubai International Airport

French hotel operator looking to tap surging airport passenger traffic in Dubai.

Accor's first luxury boutique hotel in the region was the Majlis Grand Mercure Residence in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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The French hotel operator Accor will open hundreds of new hotel rooms near Dubai airport to tap surging passenger traffic.

The company will operate two hotels, one under its five-star Majlis Grand Mercure brand, and a three-star Ibis Styles, adding a total of 700 rooms in Al Garhoud close to Dubai International Airport, said Olivier Granet, the French company’s new regional managing director.

The cluster of hotels is being developed by Abu Dhabi’s Al Otaiba Group.

This month it will open its largest Ibis property in the region with 588 rooms, the Ibis Dubai One Central, situated near Dubai World Central. Accor is also due to open the 250-room Ibis Styles at Dragon Mart in the city this month.

“There is a certain pressure on the room rates because of the supply and global environment this year but we still have increase in the number of visitors, and we know the cycle in the hospitality industry,” Mr Granet said. “At Accor we will try to maintain the rates as much as possible in most of our properties.”

He succeeds Christophe Landais who left to head Accor Hotels’ Iran operations.

Accor operates 30 hotels in the UAE. It has another 11 properties under development in the Emirates, adding about 3,500 rooms to the market.

In November, the latest monthly data available, Dubai reported a 5.4 per cent increase in supply and 2.4 per cent increase in demand year-on-year, according to research firm STR Global.

The average occupancy rate declined 2.9 per cent year-on-year to 83 per cent, and there was a 7.1 per cent dip in the average daily rate to Dh889.13.

Accor still regards the Abu Dhabi market as attractive as some of the sector’s anticipated drivers of growth, such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and other attractions have yet to open.

“You can expect there will be additional attractiveness to generate additional room nights in the future [once these are ready],” Mr Granet said.

Abu Dhabi average hotel occupancy fell 2.8 per cent to 76 per cent in December, even as room rates declined by 6.8 per cent to Dh546.18.

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