Hotel Online  Special Report

Accor Wins Bidding to Operate a 1,240 suite Hotel
Under Construction in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Zam Zam Sofitel Grand Suites Developed by
Kuwaiti Investment Company Munshaat Group 


Paris, March 16, 2005. - As a result of an international bid, Accor has been chosen by the Munshaat Group, a major Kuwaiti investment company, to manage the largest, most luxurious hotel in the Middle East/Africa region, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. 

A five-star establishment, the Zam Zam Sofitel Grand Suites is currently being built at a total cost of USD 600 million, with opening scheduled for September 2006. Zam Zam means Holy Water in Arabic.

At the contract signing on February 25, Accor Founding Co-Chairman Gérard Pélisson expressed his satisfaction with Sofitel's successful bid. "This is an ambitious, complex project," he said. "It is unique in many ways-in terms of religion and culture, research and innovation, and business challenges.  Because of its scope and symbolic importance, the project represents a major step forward in Accor's development."

The Group's long-standing presence in the region, its commitment to sharing skills, and the widespread recognition and reputation of the Sofitel brand were the determining factors in the decision to award the contract to Accor.

With 1,240 suites, the Zam Zam Sofitel Grand Suites is part of the prestigious Al Beit Towers complex. It is being built on 91,000 square meters of land owned by the King Abdulaziz Foundation and dedicated to the two Holy Mosques. Located 100 meters from the Ka'aba, the 34-storey complex enjoys a direct, panoramic view of the Haram courts. 

Unrivaled in the Persian Gulf area, the hotel complex will include a convention center, a shopping mall and a floor of restaurants that can seat up to 5,000. Most of the suites-more than 1,000-will be marketed on a time-share basis. Accor will manage all of the establishment's hotel services.

The hotel will have capacity for 6,000 customers and employ 1,500 people, most of them Saudis. 

With 17 hotels (3,521 rooms) in the Near and Middle East, Accor plans to increase its regional base to 25 hotels and more than 5,000 rooms over the next three years.

Throughout the course of the last few years, Sofitel has become a major player in the international upper upscale hotel market, with 185 properties that bring a unique French "art de vivre" to prime locations around the world

Sofitel is now present in all of the major business cities (Paris, New York, London, Washington, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, Bangkok,...), all the leading holiday resorts (Mauritius, Morocco, French West Indies, Indonesia, Brazil,... ) and in key international airports. 

In 2005, Sofitel will continue its growth with some openings in China,Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Vietnam, Brazil and Egypt.


Jacques Charbit
Marie-Claire Camus
+33 (0) 1 45 38 87 52
+33 (0) 1 45 38 84 85

Also See: Dalian Wanda Group Appoints Accor to Manage 453-room Sofitel Wanda Beijing / December 2004
Thakral Holdings Appoints Accor to Manage the Former Sheraton Brisbane; Will Be Re-branded Sofitel / December 2004

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