11 May 2022 – ZAWYA BY REFINITIV – www.zawya.com
UAE:– The Ascott Limited (Ascott), CapitaLand Investment’s wholly-owned subsidiary, continues its tenacious Middle East and African expansion plans, building on its recent growth spree, opening five new properties in five different countries within the span of one month. Currently, with a total of 4,500 units across 33 operational and pre-opening properties in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Central Asia, Ascott is on track to achieve its regional target of adding extra 5,500 units in the MEAT region, to reach a total of 10,000 units by 2025.
Building on its global footprint, the World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand, launched its recent properties under its iconic Citadines and Somerset brands. Redefining the apart’hotel concept, the Citadines brand delivers a fresh, functional and fulfilling lifestyle with a hotel stay that offers flexibility and practicality of a serviced residence with a blend of locally-influenced experiences. Oman welcomed it’s first Citadines property with the launch of the stylish Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat in the country’s capital.
Parallelly, Ascott’s acclaimed Somerset brand offers travellers and expats global living spaces that allow them to integrate both their professional and personal life, within a thriving community. Recent openings include the stylish 16-storey property, Somerset Downtown Al Khobar, marking the Group’s 7th operational property in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the most anticipated re-opening of Somerset West Bay Doha in Qatar, which offers solo, business and leisure travellers their own private spaces; Somerset City Centre Atyrau, Ascott’s first operational property in Kazakhstan, now welcoming travellers to explore a world of exclusivity in one of the country’s major economic hubs; and the 162-unit Somerset Westview Nairobi (Kenya), which marked the brand’s foray into Eastern Africa, providing potential partners and guests the opportunity to view and experience Ascott’s world-class services in the region.
The leading lodging owner-operators will continue their aspirational growth in the region with another three property openings slated to open next. These include the brand’s first luxurious villas project – Ascott Villas Riyadh and Ascott’s first premium address in Abha – Citadines Abha, both located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; in addition to Somerset Al Mansoura Doha (Franchise) in Qatar.
Mr. Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s Managing Director, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India commented on Ascott’s diverse expansion plans, saying: “The Middle East market has consistently remained a key focus for Ascott and, as we expand further in this region as well as into Africa, we are delighted to share our regional achievements at ATM 2022. We remain committed to further growth, driven by our belief in the huge potential this region holds – especially on the African continent for quality hospitality supply in the long-stay segment. Furthermore, we will be looking at expanding our presence in Turkey and Kazakhstan to better service our loyal guests in the key cities where business travel is growing post Covid-19.”
The Ascott Limited has experienced an uptick in business travel in the African market and will focus resources to further grow in Africa to meet guests’ demand for the long-stay travel and relocation. Ascott will look to bolster its portfolio further in African countries that have highlighted immense growth potential, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania in East Africa, Morocco in North Africa; and Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and Ivory Coast in West Africa.
The brand will also expand its presence in Turkey and Kazakhstan beyond Istanbul and Atyrau to better service the diverse client base in key cities where business travel is growing, such as Izmir and Antalya in Turkey and Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Ascott’s stellar new properties add to the lodging owner-operator’s existing dynamic portfolio in Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. These include Ascott Park Place Dubai, Citadines Culture Village Dubai, Citadines Metro Central Dubai (Franchise) in the United Arab Emirates; Somerset Al Fateh in Bahrain; Somerset Maslak Istanbul in Turkey; and Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh, Ascott Corniche Al Khobar, Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
As part of it’s commitment to ensure the safety and confidence of its guests, Ascott continues to practice the acclaimed ‘Ascott Cares’ programme throughout its properties globally, also offering complimentary telehealth, telecounselling and travel advisory services to its guests.
Additionally, as a result of the Group’s commitment, The Ascott Limited has once again attained the coveted honour of the ‘Best Serviced Apartment Brand in the Middle East’ at the 2022 Business Traveller Middle East Awards for the 7th year, earmarking another milestone of success.
On the sustainability front, Ascott practices green measures to contribute to global norms of carbon footprint reduction. The brand is currently working towards a 15% reduction of energy and water consumption intensity by the year 2030. Within the region, Ascott’s properties Ascott Park Place Dubai and Citadines Metro Central Dubai (Franchise), have received the Green Key certification for their sustainability efforts. Additionally, Ascott plans to implement the Environment Health Safety Management System for selected properties across United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar, and is the first of its kind in the GCC.
Ascott’s loyalty programme, Ascott Star Rewards, was recently upgraded in view of its third milestone anniversary, marking a 40% increase in annual membership and contributing to about 90% of Ascott’s direct bookings online. Via the new Multi-Channel programme members can now earn points through reservations email, phone call, travel agents, walk-ins and more at across 400 ASR participating properties in 30 countries. Member benefits include points redemption, complimentary upgrades, birthday vouchers, complimentary welcomes refreshments and more.
Parallelly, Ascott continues its aspiration towards digitalization strongly moving from the traditional travel & stay experience, primarily through its loyalty App – Discover ASR, which enables cashless check-in & check-out, easy room service orders, contactless payments, reserving pre-arrival and in-stay requests, and the inspiring GoGreen points accumulation – earned by guests when they practice Sustainable Green initiatives within the property, and more.