Included in this roundup of news from the MEA region: IHG launches Voco brand; Jumeirah hires head of Michelin guides; and more.
Each week, Hotel News Now features a news roundup from a different global region. Today’s compilation focuses on Middle East/Africa.
Jumeirah lures head of Michelin guides
Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Jumeirah Group has hired former international director of Michelin’s travel and restaurant guides—Michael Ellis—as the company’s new chief culinary officer, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The news agency notes Ellis’ position is newly created and Jumeirah Group CEO Jose Silva said in a statement that “his appointment is the cornerstone of the vision to put dining at the center of Jumeirah’s luxury experience.”
MEA part of IHG’s Voco launch
InterContinental Hotels Group recently announced plans to launch a new upscale conversion brand called Voco in select geographies, including the Middle East and Africa, writes Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller. The new brand will be more unique than IHG’s similarly segmented Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo brands, according to Karin Sheppard, managing director for Europe at IHG.
“Crowne Plaza targets primarily business occasions; Voco is positioned to appeal to both business and leisure travelers, as well as being supportive to hotels with strong local (food and beverage), banqueting and events business,” she said.
April performance data for Middle East/Africa
The latest data from Hotel News Now’s parent company STR shows hotels in the Middle East saw year-over-year drops in each of the three key performance metrics in April, while African hoteliers enjoyed across-the-board increases for the same period.
Middle East: In the region, occupancy fell 4.4% compared to April 2017 to 72%. Average daily rate fell 8.1% to $160.37, which lead to a 12.1% drop in revenue per available room to $115.45.
Africa: The continent saw a 6.3% increase in occupancy for the month, rising to 61.8%. ADR improved 4% to hit $119.79 and RevPAR spiked 10.5% to reach $73.99.
Deals and development
• The 304-room Aloft City Centre Deira opened, marking Marriott’s third Aloft property in Dubai. The property is owned by Emirati holding company Majid Al Futtaim.
• Emaar Hospitality Group’s 220-room Address Downtown in Dubai reopened on 4 June, two years after a fire damaged the property.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.