DUBAI—Accor is expanding its footprint in Africa after signing a management agreement with Kamak Investment to manage its first properties in Djibouti.
As part of its ongoing development strategy to expand its presence in sub-Saharan Africa, Accor is setting foot for the first time in Djibouti, with the launch of three hotels under three different brands: Pullman Living, Novotel and MGallery.
The group is partnering with Kamaj Investments. Initially created as a real estate agency, founder Houssein Mahamdoud Robleh diversified his business activities over the years to cover different industries including security, maintenance, temporary work and the press. During the past eight years, the Kamaj Group expanded its real estate focus and invested in the central market of Riyad of which it is the private concessionaire and acquired two hotels.
“We couldn’t think of a better partner than Accor to help us renovate and manage the two properties and the extended stay project in Djibouti City,”said Robleh. “We understand there is an enormous need for new hotel investment in Djibouti and Accor’s knowledge and expertise as a global hospitality leader will help us achieve our objectives.”
Located in Djibouti city, the properties will share the location with the port of Djibouti, strategically located at the crossroads of one of the business shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf, making it the busiest waterway in the region.
“This is a development we are very excited about as Djibouti is an attractive destination for business travelers and has a central geostrategic location due to its port,” said Mark Willis, CEO of Accor Middle East and Africa. “This will be a first step for us in Djibouti and we look forward to being part of the country’s overall development.”
Accor plans to open the first Pullman Living project in 2023, a new-build project with 131 keys across one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The property will be located in the Heron district, nearby the new free-trade zone, embassies and high-end residential neighborhoods.
Also in the Heron district, after undergoing renovation, the existing property of Les Accacias operating since 2012, will be reopened under the Novotel brand. The project is expected to be completed in 2022, after renovation with the extension of 40 keys, making a total of 110 rooms. This property will also represent the first mid-scale branded hotel in the area, where guests will be able to enjoy the outdoor restaurant and coffee shop, a swimming pool, fitness center and gym.
The third project will reside on the conversion of a historic building which will be transformed into a 50-key hotel by 2022. This new MGallery will be located in the CBD district and across the ministries. As with every MGallery property around the world, MGallery “Plein Ciel” will tell a unique story inspired by the destination, offering travelers a restaurant, a coffee shop, inner courtyard, swimming pool, fitness center and gym, meeting and conferences rooms.
“The opening of these three properties promises to revolutionize the hospitality scene of the country,” said Willis. “As of today, there are only two branded hotels in Djibouti, and Accor will be introducing three new brands to the country. The strategic location of the properties near the Heron District and CBD, and natural strategic position offered by the country combined with the demand for premium and mid-scale accommodation should definitely impact the travel flows inside out the country.”
Accor’s Africa portfolio currently comprises 163 properties (26,250 keys) with another 81 hotels (15,989 keys) in its development pipeline, growing its presence to 25 diverse brands. With the completion of these three projects, Accor will be operating a total of 291 keys in Djibouti by 2023.