HMH group enters budget hotels segment
Dubai, May 7, 2014
Dubai-based Hospitality Management Holdings (HMH) has announced its foray into budget hotels segment with the ECOS Hotels.
Unveiling the expansion plans for the 'no frills' brand, CEO Laurent A. Voivenel said: "We are eager to penetrate the largely untapped market for mid-scale and economy hotels in the region with ECOS Hotels that ties together a unique economical and ecological concept. To start with we have three different projects under consideration in the UAE and the first of these will be developed in Dubai."
"ECOS will serve as the ideal address for savvy budget conscious business and leisure travellers looking for quality in terms of basics such as a good bed, shower and breakfast," stated Voivenel while was speaking at Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
The Dubai group aims to capitalize on the soaring demand for quality budget accommodation across the GCC. Founded in 2003 in Dubai, HMH is a fully-integrated hotel management company that prides itself on being the first hotel chain in the Middle East to offer alcohol-free safe environment.
Breaking new ground in budget hotels, ECOS Hotels brings a turnkey solution for investors with its minimalist and practical design, he added.
Voivenel said: "ECOS Hotels is a smart choice for investors offering strong investment opportunity because of lower construction and operating costs and quick and high return on investment."
The number of visitors travelling to the region is projected to double reaching 136 million by 2020 compared to 54 million in 2008.
Laurent said, "The region is seeing phenomenal growth in stopover traffic, rapidly expanding low-cost carriers, inter-regional travel, increased airport capacity and a growing middle class that is fueling the demand for budget hotels."
In addition, a lot of local and international companies are cutting down on their annual travelling budgets and seeking affordable accommodation. However, existing hotel stock in the Middle East, including the UAE, is predominantly geared towards luxury and up-market accommodation leaving a huge gap and opportunity for budget hotels that we are keen to develop," he added.
Laurent believes it is the best time to do so as Dubai is once again leading the way, but other markets are following thick and fast.
Dubai has given a tax reprieve to investors developing mid-market hotels by exempting eligible hotels from 10 per cent municipality fee levied on the daily room rate for a period of four years if the construction permit is granted between October 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017.
The scale of opportunity in the region means that the GCC has become a lucrative market for budget hotels among investors and operators.
Industry sources indicate over 8500 rooms are expected to open in the mid-market segment in the GCC by 2014. Dubai alone will have 2443 economy hotel rooms by 2017 in addition to those planned and under construction, he added.-TradeArabia News Service