Ibis, Al Barsha Dubai. Ibis, Al Barsha Dubai.

With a portfolio which includes 4,100 hotels spread across 95 countries, AccorHotels CEO Sébastien Bazin told Arabian Business: “We open a new hotel every 36 hours,” and the chain intends to pick up the pace too – especially in the GCC.

Bazin describes the pace of AccorHotels’ development as “fascinating”, noting there are a number of transformations needed to take the firm to the next phase - the toughest part, he says, is explaining the need for change.

“I think Dubai, the emirates and the GCC countries need much more to be better equipped into the two and three star category than they need to be equipped in the luxury segment,” he says.

“We’re not here to add new capacity, we’re here add additional breadth through the acquisitions we have made. We will continue to deliver the pipeline, but I’m spending as much time, if not more on Novotel, Mercure, Sofitel, Pullman, Ibis than I am spending time on Fairmont Raffles.”

Story continues below

Speaking of strategies for new brands in region, Bazin says there are plans to bring its lifestyle brand Mama Shelter to Dubai.

“We would love to have a Mama Shelter in the Dubai market to complete the existing offering and to bring something that it not additional room inventory on what already exists,” he says.

There are also tentative plans to bring its newly launched brand Jo&Joe to Dubai – AccorHotels’ most recent answer to Airbnb.