Group reveals plan for 2,000 additional rooms

Kuwait’s Action Hotels has announced that it is on target for 2,600 mid-scale rooms by 2012 with almost 2,000 new rooms in four countries to open over the next two years.

Action Hotels is a subsidiary of Kuwait’s Action Group Holdings and the company’s chairman, Shaikh Mubarak Abdullah Al Mubarak Al Sabah confirmed that nine, mid-scale properties flying international flags will join the three already open in Salmiya, Kuwait, which launched in 2008 and Muscat, Oman and Amman, Jordan, which both opened last year.

“This year, Sharq, Kuwait and Manama, the capital of Bahrain, are set to see two Ibis flags join the mid-scale lodging offering with a 160-room hotel and 304-room mixed-accomodation tower, respectively,” said Shaikh Mubarak.

Meanwhile in international markets, Action Hotels has developed the Ibis Glen Waverly in Melbourne, Australia, which opened in 2007, and has also confirmed the imminent signing of a 250-room Novotel in Brisbane due to open in 2011.

According to Sheikh Mubarak, the economy hotel sector led the global hospitality development by six percentage points in 2009. He cites the  WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) research that suggests the Middle East tourism sector, for both business and leisure travel, grew by nine per cent.

“Our regional strategy is to cement a leading position in the economy hotel segment,” he said.

“We are ahead of the race. The ibis, Holiday Inn and Novotel flags sit perfectly in this lodging gap for business travellers and tourists who ‘travel differently’ and want a comfortable room and personable proactive service at true value rates.”

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation the economic climate substantially drove demand for economy hotels by as much as 16 per cent in 2009.

Sheikh Mubarak indicated that with economy air travel to the Middle East up some 13 per cent, demand for good, price-effective, service-efficient lodging is vibrant.

“Business class air travel has experienced at least a six per cent downturn in the past year.

Meanwhile, intra-regional travel is also growing and this accounts for more than 70 per cent of the room occupancy in Dubai and Bahrain, for example,” said Sheikh Mubarak.

He confirmed that by 2012, Action Hotels will have a portfolio of 14 mid-scale hotels flying the Ibis, Novotel, Holiday Inn and Staybridge flags, in partnership with the global hotel operators Accor and IHG.