easyGroup has shared its plans of expanding its budget hotel franchise into the Arab world and South Asia. (2/26/2007)
As per the information available, the first of six budget hotels planned for Dubai under the easyHotel.com brand will open in Karama early next year. The development follows a master franchise agreement signed last year between with London-based easyHotel Limited and Istithmar Hotels, a subsidiary of Dubai investment firm Istithmar.
“In some markets like Dubai you start with attention to luxury,” easyGroup Chairman said Stelios Haji-Ioannou reportedly said in an interview. “But you need also levels of hotel accommodations that represent value for money and plug a gap in the market.”
easyHotels aims to open 38 properties in the next five years in the region through a franchise agreement with Istithmar Hotels, whose $3 billion in investments last year included New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel and W Hotel Union Square.
Dubai will have about four of the hotels and the others will be located in 17 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, India and Pakistan, Haji-Ioannou said.
The total project will cost $400 million.
The specific countries where easyHotel will be present are: Dubai (six), India (eight), Saudi Arabia (three), Pakistan (three), Egypt (two)Lebanon (two), and one each in Sharjah, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Qatar, Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria. Each hotel will contain between 80 and 120 rooms.