By Louise Oakley
Address Hotels CEO says 10 locations in MENA, Budapest, Istanbul in pipeline.
The CEO of Dubai-based hotel group Address Hotels & Resorts has said the company is now looking to expand the brand globally.
CEO Marc Dardenne said that with five projects now operational in Dubai, the focus was now on expanding the brand in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
“The first two hotels that will open in 2012 will be the France project in the Languedoc and Marrakech,” he said in comments published in Hotelier Middle East.
“We are also just about to sign a location in Budapest and are finalising another deal in Istanbul," he added.
“We have about another 10 potential opportunities in the Middle East region and in North Africa,” said Dardenne.
“Our next move is to look at more European based hotels and I’m also going to see opportunities in Asia.”
The plan has always been to take the brand global, he said, using both strategic and opportunistic approaches to do it.
“We’re looking at potentially London as a strategic location, where we would probably partner up with the developer and invest equity, otherwise it’s fairly opportunistic in terms of our development, since we want to have an asset light strategy of management contracts,” added Dardenne.
However, The Address has not ruled out further properties in Dubai, he said.
“In Dubai, ideally it would be great for us to have a resort because we don’t have a pure beach resort, so if there would be an opportunity to manage a hotel on The Palm for example we would be very happy to do that, especially because we have five hotels in the city, having a beach resort would add value to the hotels in the city as well.”
Expansion in the GCC was also important, he said, because the brand has established itself in those markets very quickly, with the Downtown properties especially being favourites of GCC travellers.
Between now and the opening of the new hotels, Dardenne said he was looking at conversion opportunities, which would require a “contemporary hotel in a great location”.
Doesn't Address hotels belong to Emaar? From my knowledge big local companies are investing abroad not because there have extra money to throw out of the window and like to create a perception that the company is strong, but simply understand that the business environment in Dubai is far, far down, well below we are thought to believe. And guess with what money they are investing abroad? With yours!