Millennium & Copthorne set to launch 3 new hotel brands

Studio M, M Hotel and Millennium Executive Apartments to be rolled out in plan for 50 ME hotels by 2017

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has unveiled plans to introduce three new brands to the region as part of its wider goal to triple its Middle East portfolio to 50 hotels by 2017.

At a press conference at Arabian Travel Mart on Tuesday, Millennium and Copthorne Middle East president and CEO Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi said Studio M, M Hotel and Millennium Executive Apartments would each address growing  market segment needs.

He said the first Studio M, a brand developed in Singapore, would open in Riyadh in Q2 2015 with a 145-key property, with discussions advanced on future openings in Qatar and Dubai and plans to open six properties under the brand in the next three years.

The second brand, M Hotel, which was also developed in Singapore, would be initially rolled out in Dubai, Doha, Riyadh and Jeddah by 2017, with Alzaabi describing the offering as for business and pleasure with a modern vibe and smart-tech focus.

He said the Millennium Executive Apartments concept, to address growing demand of serviced apartments, would open first in Muscat with a 115- key project next to the Grand Mall, by Q4 2014, followed by a second opening in Dubai Marina featuring 151 one to three-bedroom apartments, two penthouse apartments and eight villas, in Q4 2014.

A total 10 stand-alone and mixed-use development-sited properties were being targeted across key GCC cities within the next three years, he said.

Alzaabi said it wanted to capture the growth in Dubai leading up to Expo2020, however it was also focused on the burgeoning Saudi market.

Overall, the UK-based company will enter Saudi for the first time, with 20 new hotels totalling 7000 rooms, making the kingdom one of its largest markets overnight.

It also intends to open in 10 new locations in the UAE, Kuwait and Oman in the next 12-18 months. Three of the new hotels will be in the UAE.

Millennium and Copthorne already operates 17 hotels in the region, including in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Iraq under the brands include five-star Millennium and Grand Millennium, four-star Copthorne, and three-star Kingsgate.

The company’s Middle East profits grew 34 percent last year on the back of high occupancy rates.  Growth was across all of its Middle East portfolio, which returned a 23.3 percent increase in total revenue and a 34.1 percent increase in gross operating profit compared with 2012.

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