Despite the pandemic, Ascott assures its openings across the Middle East and Africa are on track. In Q4 2020, Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat will open, with the following year expected to see four openings in the first quarter. In the Middle East, Citadines Culture Village Dubai (UAE) and Somerset Downtown Al Khobar (KSA) will begin to welcome guests. Whilst Ascott will commence operations in new markets; with Somerset Westview Nairobi (previously Somerset Kilimani Nairobi) in Kenya and Ascott’s first property in Kazakhstan, Somerset City Centre Atyrau. The company also plans to debut into Morocco next year.Ascott CEO Kevin Goh said: “Ascott’s record signing of 25 new properties globally, despite the challenges of COVID-19, demonstrates that our partners recognise the resilience of our lodging products and the value Ascott brings as one of the leading international lodging owner-operators.”
He added: “We have a strong base of long-stay guests who appreciate the comfort of our spacious apartments where they can live and work. This has enabled our serviced residences globally to maintain robust average occupancy rates. We have already taken steps to ready Ascott to be the accommodation of choice in a post-COVID-19 landscape, and will continue to cement Ascott’s position as a dominant lodging player, to deliver more value for our guests and business partners.”The 25 properties in the pipeline bolster Ascott’s portfolio to close to 118,000 units across 700 properties. The contracts feed into the company’s target of 160,000 units in three years.