Ecos set to invest Dh36m for its first two-star hotel in UAE

DUBAI — With an initial Dh36 million ($9.8 million) investment, Ecos Hotels is set to build in the UAE the first hotel in its two-star chain that will grow to 50 in three to five years all over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, North Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Russia and the former Soviet republics.

By Jose N Franco Jr

Published: Wed 25 Apr 2007, 8:32 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:17 PM

In an interview, Ralph Noblet, director of Ecos Hotels, said the company is looking at Sharjah or Dubai as venue for the first 150-room hotel, but added that the two emirates would each host two Ecos hotels eventually.

He said the two-star brand signifying a new concept in budget hotels is also looking at Saudi Arabia, the biggest market in the Middle East for its target travellers, and other countries in the region.

Noblet said Ecos, which will be managed by Coral International Hotels, Resorts & Spas, is UAE's first "economically-sensible and environmentally-responsible chain of hotels targeted at cost-conscious travellers."

He stressed: "At the moment in the hospitality sector, the pyramid is very much upside down. Contrary to the market requirement there are too many luxury and five-star hotels that leave a huge gap in the budget segment. With Ecos we are looking to fulfill this need for reasonable accommodations."

Ecos' target market involves those travelling in economy class, or 90 per cent of airline passengers, Noblet said. He also noted the growing number of visitors from China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Paksitan, Russia and the former Soviet republics.

He added that Ecos Hotels is now in the initial phase of dealing with the designers and potential UAE investors regarding the new project, which promises to have simple but sleek design, and be environment-friendly by advocating recycling and using solar energy.

Mohamed Elkahla, general manager of Coral Deira hotel, said many business and leisure travellers have complained about the rising room rates in five-star hotels around Dubai and the entire Middle East. "It's about time we made life easier for budget travellers," he said.

Michael Noblet, managing director of Coral International, said the company expects a high return on investment on a 22-square metre Ecos room that would cost a traveller from Dh220 to Dh257 ($60-$70) per night. He added that the target occupancy per night is not below 90 per cent.

He added that Ecos hotels would be located near airports, hospitals and downtown areas in order to make leisure and business facilities closer to the niche market.

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