Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Accor to debut Novotel brand in Oman

Hospitality group Accor is set to introduce its successful midscale brand Novotel in Oman after signing a deal to take over an existing high-profile property close to the sultanate’s main international airport.

The group has entered a new strategic partnership with Sundus Investments, a leading mixed-use developer in the Middle East, to manage the 215-key Novotel Muscat Airport, which is strategically located on Sultan Qaboos Highway in the capital city’s prestigious and fast-evolving Al Seeb district.

The two-year-old property will undergo a modest revamp including décor and signage alterations to reflect Novotel’s signature contemporary-led brand experience, with further modifications including a reimagined lobby planned in the future.

With some of the capital’s most ambitious mixed-use developments on the property’s doorstep and the new world-class Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) also nearby, the hotel will meet growing local and international demand for high-quality midscale accommodation.

“Partnering with Sundus Investments to raise Accor’s first Novotel flag in Oman marks another significant step in our regional expansion strategy as we look to collaborate with leading developers in strategic locations where we can leverage our portfolio of dynamic brands, with Oman a priority market,” said Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Middle East & Africa.

“Following this agreement we can showcase our takeover expertise and demonstrate the potential of our flagship midscale concept in a fast-growing destination, paving the way for more joint hospitality projects across the sultanate.”

Ahmed Al Ardhi, chairman of Sundus Investments, said: “Our investment and development strategy is aligned to the Sultanate’s economic diversification plans as set out in Vision 2020 and Vision 2040, with tourism identified as a key growth sector, and as we consolidate our portfolio and embark on our next growth phase, we are partnering with leading international hotel operators such as Accor to ensure our hospitality projects set world-class standards.”

Novotel Muscat Airport will feature 215 rooms and suites ranging in size from 61-sq-m to 196-sq-m, plus four F&B options including a signature restaurant, all-day dining venue, lobby lounge and pool bar. For business and events, the property will offer 620-sq-m of space spanning six meeting rooms and a 380-sq-m ballroom while the fitness and wellness club will encompass a gym, outdoor swimming pool and steam rooms.

Novotel’s signature relaxed and lively hospitality concept and comprehensive facilities will appeal to the local business and residential community, airport stopover guests, as well as international travellers visiting Muscat for leisure, meetings or major events at the OCEC.

At the same time, Muscat International Airport recently underwent a full renovation, growing its capacity to 12 million passengers annually, with further enhancements and expansion underway that will eventually boost this number to 48 million.

Accor currently operates two properties (323 keys) in Oman - ibis Hotel Muscat in the capital and a Mercure hotel in the port city of Sohar - with another nine (2,179 keys) in its development pipeline. - TradeArabia News Service