- Özgür Töre
Katara Hospitality and Accor announced a new partnership with the two-fold signing of Raffles and Fairmont hotels in Qatar.
The management agreement was signed by His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality and Mr. Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO of Accor.
The agreement signing was held at Katara Hospitality headquarters in Doha in the presence of Katara Hospitality Management represented by Mr. Andrew Humphries, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kamal Rhazali, General Counsel, Mr. Irfan Sharief, Chief Asset Management Officer, Mr. Juan Aguilar, Acting Chief Technical Officer. As well as Accor Management represented by Mr. Mark Willis, CEO India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey and Mr. Gaurav Bhushan, CEO of Accor’s Lifestyle Brands.
The agreement consolidates the long-standing partnership between Accor and Katara Hospitality, whom already own several landmark hotels managed by Accor, with the property set to open in 2022. Once completed, the Fairmont Hotel and Raffles Hotel & Residences will join the brand’s worldwide portfolio, known to be the world’s largest collection of historic and iconic hotels. As with any Fairmont property around the world, guests will find themselves immersed in a local authentic environment. Similarly when visiting the Raffles, guests will discover the individual personality and story offered by the hotel. At the essence of every Raffles is to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests.
On this occasion, His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman, Katara Hospitality said: “Katara Hospitality is one of the first investors that understood the significance of the project, committing to developing the hospitality icon of Doha for the 21st Century in the State of Qatar. We are confident the ethos of Accor brand is a strategic fit for this iconic project as it is important that we have an operator who understands our vision and strategy, while ensuring it occupies its rightful position in the local and global marketplaces when it opens next year.”
“The world’s most loved cities are often identified through imagery and landmark buildings. We strongly believe the property we are developing will provide Qatar with an architectural symbol that is known and understood right across the globe. Our aim is to create the hospitality icon of the 21st Century that is within one of the world’s most exciting urban developments. Our vision is to set new standards that go beyond the borders of the hospitality industry and provide a landmark location that is instantly recognised internationally,” he added.
“While we regard 2022 as a milestone in the country’s development, this new property in Lusail will also occupy a focal point for residents and travellers during the FIFA World Cup. We believe that this is our opportunity to showcase a country that has grown into an international destination and Katara Hospitality will create the landmark to underpin lifetime memories.”
Sheikh Nawaf concluded: “As Qatar National Vision 2030 creates the perfect framework for us, we will continue to develop peerless hospitality at home and abroad that are not only jewels in our portfolio but are emblematic for Qatar as well.”
Sebastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO of Accor commented, “We are extremely excited to announce this iconic property and to showcase it on the world stage in the years to come. The arrival of the Raffles and Fairmont brands in Qatar marks an important milestone for Accor, as we endeavour to bring their distinctive levels of quality and luxurious service to residents and travellers alike. We thank Katara, one of our most valued partners, for once again entrusting us with such a unique project, which is set to become a landmark, not only in Qatar, but in the region.”
Symbolically intertwined with Qatar’s heritage, the Iconic Towers in Lusail are an architectural translation of Qatar’s national seal, representing the traditional scimitar swords. Raising gracefully from the podium level, the arched towers will host a luxurious five-star hotel with 361 rooms and suites to cater to discerning business travellers, a lavish six-star hotel with 132 suites to meet the needs of those seeking sophisticated luxury accommodation and 49 branded apartments to become home to permanent residents. State-of-the-art entertainment and recreational facilities, including specialist boutiques, VIP movie theatres, signature restaurants and a private Cigar Lounge are to be complemented by exquisite banqueting and conference spaces, as well as office dedicated areas.
“We believe Qatar to be an ideal place to spend a few days in the Middle East: there is a rich variety of beaches, it features year round sunshine, and the food is equal to the best the region has to offer” said Mr. Andrew Humphries, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality.
"We are happy to collaborate again with Accor to open the first Raffles and Fairmont properties in Qatar, which we believe will position Qatar as a leading luxury, lifestyle and conference destination locally and globally”.
“This is a unique opportunity to consolidate Fairmont and Raffles image in the Middle East, with both hotels sitting in on of the most iconic building of the region, indeed an incredible showcase for both brands”, said Mark Willis, CEO of Accor India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey.
Mark Willis adds: “We expect that these properties, with their iconic design and unrivalled presence, will become an architectural emblem and reference in Luxury in Doha”.
Accor currently operates six properties (1,378 keys) in Qatar across five brands including Movenpick, Mondrian and MGallery, with nine additional hotels (2,920 keys) in the pipeline.
Having been at the forefront of the hospitality industry for over 50 years, Katara Hospitality has built a portfolio of iconic hotels in Qatar and key international gateways. An experienced hotel owner, developer and operator, the group has been a hospitality pioneer in Qatar.
Today, Katara Hospitality’s portfolio of operating hotels and those under development has reached 42 assets globally, encompassing over 8,000 rooms, while it aims to reach 60 properties by 2030.
Lusail is a planned city in Qatar, located on the coast, in the northern part of the municipality of Al Daayen. Lusail is located about 23 km north of the city centre of Doha, just north of the West Bay Lagoon, on over 38 km² and will eventually have the infrastructure to accommodate 450,000 people.
It is planned to have marinas, residential areas, island resorts, commercial districts, luxury shopping and leisure facilities, and a golf course community, man made islands and several entertainment districts. Construction is still ongoing.