Olivier Granet oversees the eco- and midscale properties for the Middle East, and eco-, midscale, and luxe properties for North Africa, and with more than 100 hotels in the pipeline, it has been another record year for AccorHotels in these countries. The acquisition of FRHI has been keeping Granet busy over the last year as well.
This division opened five hotels in March 2017 alone, and the hotel openings in Q1 this year represented more than all of 2016’s openings combined. The brand revealed the signing of the first AccorHotels’ lifestyle brand in the region – Mama Shelter – and reflagged a Sheikh Zayed Road property (previously with Gloria Hotels & Resorts) into the largest Mercure Hotel in the global network.
Significant hotel signings in the last year were made throughout the UAE, Tunisia, and Egypt, across a number of brands, with openings including Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech, the first of its brand in North Africa; the Ibis Styles Makkah; Novotel Yanbu; Mercure Sohar; Porto Sokhna, Managed by AccorHotels; Jabal Hotel, Managed by AccorHotels; Mercure Cancun Sokhna; Novotel Jeddah Tahlia Street; and Mercure Dubai Barsha Heights & Apartments. Under Granet’s command, strong development has been seen in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Egypt.
Another area Granet is also focusing on is the operator’s lifestyle brands, with the region’s first Mama Shelter. Granet tells Hotelier: “Our passion for all of our guests is driving us to new heights in fulfilling guest satisfaction, and this applies to the roll-out of global lifestyle brands, including the region’s first Mama Shelter. Alongside its development, we continue to scope out opportunities to expand our lifestyle offer to the Middle East and Africa, and will shortly announce the signing of another lifestyle brand.” We are excited to find out what this might be.
Granet promises the area and brands under his leadership will see the opening of two hotels every month until 2020, with more than one hotel signed every two weeks. He also proudly claims the company is the largest hotel operator in Saudi Arabia, and is set to double its network across Africa with 200 hotels and 25,000 rooms.