Marriott announced seven new hotel deal signings at the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) 2017, which held October 10 – 12 in Kigali, Rwanda. The global hotel company currently operates in 20 African countries, a penetration that was particularly driven by its acquisition of Protea Hotels in 2014. Its pipeline earlier in the year stood at 16,393 rooms, with deals signed for 83 hotels, according to W Hospitality Group’s 2017 Hotel Pipeline Report. The company’s 2017 pipeline also represented a 22% increase from the previous year.
Saying of Marriott’s development plans in Africa, Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, remarked that the company continues to believe in the potential and the opportunities offered in the continent. “With economic growth, a rising middle class and rapid urbanization, the demand for travel and high quality lodging is growing, providing us with a significant opportunity to enhance our footprint and play our part in supporting many emerging markets across the continent”. Three of the hotel deals signed will be part of mixed-use projects, which have seen increased interest from investors. The activity in this space speaks to the evolution and urbanization of African markets, and as Kyriakidis commented, “an international hotel brand can bring cachet to a project that positions itself significantly above its peers and differentiates it from its competitors”.
The newly-signed hotel deals include:
Abidjan Marriott Hotel, Côte d’Ivoire: a 200-room hotel located in the center of Abidjan’s Plateau district, the city’s central business district. The hotel will also be located within walking district of the Presidential Palace. The project is owned by Cote d’Ivoire Investissement, and is part of a proposed mixed-use development that will also include a conference center, offices, retail and a national library. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
Sheraton Abidjan and Four Points by Sheraton Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire: This is a proposed dual brand hotel that will be part of a mixed-use development, located on the waterfront in the affluent Cocody district of the city. Cocody is situated to the east of the Plateau district. The mixed-use development will include a convention center, marina, shopping center and office building. The Four Points by Sheraton will be a 259-room hotel and is planned as a conversion and refurbishment of an existing hotel. The 300-room Sheraton is planned as a new build. The project is owned by the Societe Des Lagunes and is projected to open in 2022.
Côte d’Ivoire has seen a revitalization of its economy, following many years of civil war. Abidjan has benefited from the return of the African Development Bank from Tunis, as well as the many infrastructure and investment projects ongoing in the country.
Renaissance Landmark Lagos Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria: This is another dual brand hotel project, within a larger mixed-use development. It is owned and being developed by the Landmark Africa Group. The 216-room Renaissance and the 44-room Marriott Executive Apartments are scheduled to open in 2020. The Landmark Village is planned to be a premier mixed-use business, leisure and lifestyle development along the Atlantic Ocean waterfront.
Le Meridien Accra, Ghana: This hotel project, which is owned by 4-Mac Limited, is to build a 160-room Le Meridien strategically close to the international airport, and within the prestigious Airport Residential Area of Accra. The project is scheduled for completion in 2021, and will introduce the first Le Meridien branded property in Ghana.
Protea Hotel by Marriott Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: This project will mark the debut of the Protea Hotel by Marriott brand to Ethiopia. The 165-room hotel will offer a specialty restaurant, a lobby bar and lounge and meeting facilities as well as a fitness center and spa. The hotel is being developed by and is projected to open in 2021.
Marriott, like other major international hotel brands, continues to maintain an aggressive growth strategy in Africa by keeping up its pace of hotel signings with a largely local base of individual and institutional investors and developers. Almost all of these seven new hotel deals have been signed with institutional investors, in lieu of private individuals, which is a welcome development for the African hotel transactions markets.