It’s been another record-breaking year of growth for The Ascott Limited (Ascott) fuelled by new property openings across the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Kazakhstan, and buoyed by expansion deals in new and established markets.
To date, Ascott has 3,479 units (including units under development) in the region, representing 25 properties in eight countries across 11 cities.
This year saw the group push ahead with ambitious expansion plans in Saudi Arabia, by signing a management contract in April to open the 92-unit Citadines Al Aziziyah Al Khobar. The property is set to open in late 2021 and will be Ascott’s eighth residence in the kingdom, and it’s third in the strategic Eastern Province city of Al Khobar. Ascott signed an additional 561 units across four properties: Ascott Riviera Golf Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Somerset Kilimani Nairobi (Kenya) and Somerset City Centre Atyrau (Kazakhstan).
Looking ahead, Saudi Arabia remains an important focal point with further openings in the pipeline across the kingdom. Somerset Downtown Al Khobar is set to open in 2020, along with Citadines Abha, Ascott Villas Riyadh - all scheduled to open by Q4 2020.
“As the kingdom pushes ahead with Saudi Vision 2030, the hospitality sector is likely to be a key driver in boosting the nation’s non-oil revenue,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “These are hugely exciting times for us as we capitalise on our market-leading presence in Saudi Arabia and set new benchmarks for the kingdom’s hospitality landscape.”
2019 has seen the group extend its portfolio into the lucrative Central Asian market with Somerset City Centre Atyrau, Ascott’s first serviced residence located in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Scheduled to open in the first half of 2020, the 139-unit property will help meet the growing demand for internationally-branded accommodation in one of Kazakhstan’s major economic hubs.
Elsewhere, the group is deepening its existing presence in key regional markets with 2020 openings planned for the UAE (Citadines Culture Village Dubai), Oman (Citadines Al Gubrah Muscat) and Turkey (Citadines Maslak Istanbul).
It’s been an impressive year for global industry recognition, with Ascott coming up trumps at the prestigious 2019 World Travel Awards and taking home a total of 22 international awards.
In the Middle East, Ascott was named the ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey category for the fourth consecutive year; Saudi Arabia’s ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ for the third year in a row; while Ascott Sari Jeddah was named Saudi Arabia’s ‘Leading Serviced Apartment’ for the second year. Somerset Maslak Istanbul (the group’s first property to open in Turkey) took the award for ‘Leading Serviced Apartment’.
“As the year draws to a close, Ascott celebrates an unprecedented 12 months of growth and prosperity,” added Miccolis. “In January, we crossed 100,000 units worldwide, thereby extending our international footprint to over 180 cities across 30 countries. Our goal for 2020 is to continue this extraordinary growth momentum, with a core focus on the Mena and Turkey region, as we aim to reach 5,000 units, putting us in an optimistic position to achieve our global target of 160,000 units by 2023.” - TradeArabia News Service