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A section of the visitors to the 11th Accor Middle East Road Show at the Diplomatic Club. (Kammutty VP)
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Accor, Europe’s largest hotel operator, is set to open two of its upscale brands in Doha in 2015 as part of its aggressive expansion strategy in the Middle East.
The France-based company would launch Pullman Doha West Bay and MGallery Doha Msheireb after two years, according to Philippe Seguin, Vice-President of Sales, Marketing and Distribution, Middle East.
“Today we have huge ambitions in Qatar. We have a Pullman under construction and we will open as well MGallery, which would be an upscale hotel in the new Msheireb Downtown,” Seguin told The Peninsula during the 11th Accor Middle East Road Show at the Diplomatic Club on Tuesday.
An upscale Accor international brand, Pullman, has presence in major cities around the world and caters to cosmopolitan and seasoned travellers.
It targets particularly the corporate and MICE sector in the region.
MGallery, which is another high-end brand, displays unique architecture and reflects heritage, history and aesthetic quality distinctive to the city where it is located.
MGallery Doha in Msheireb Downtown will draw a parallelism to architecture rooted in Qatari history and heritage on which the ambitious development has been based.
With the emergence of major international brands, the hospitality industry in Qatar has been vibrant in recent years, Seguin noted.
“All the international chains are now in Doha. There are a lot of developments on corporate market and the leisure sector has become more and more important as well, making Qatar an emerging international market in the leisure sector. I think the future is very bright for Qatar definitely,” he said.
Accor has a network of 58 hotels in the Middle East and plans to expand its portfolio in the region by opening 24 hotels in 2015 in six key countries, including Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
By 2015 Accor will have had 82 hotels or over 19,565 rooms in 11 countries in the Middle East, in all segments.
In line with its strategy, Accor has been holding a series of Road Shows, particularly in the Middle East, where the hotel chain has seen fast growth.
“We are doing this to further boost our partnership with key and strategic operators and agents in the region as well as develop business from this region to the rest of the world,” he said.
The road show witnessed the participation of 32 hotels from 13 countries, including Austria, Bahrain, Egypt, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE and the US.
“We have invited hoteliers from Accor brands worldwide to come and discover the region, especially this year’s three main destinations which are Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait,” explained Seguin.
“The main idea is for them to present their products, share if they have new renovations or opening new hotels in their countries and some leads from our partners in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar which are key emerging markets in the region,” he added.