CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has secured contracts to manage its first Citadines Apart’hotels in Vietnam, Sabah, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The 200-unit Citadines Regency Saigon is slated to open in the vibrant commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 in 2018 while the 253-unit Citadines Waterfront Kota Kinabalu is scheduled to open within the heart of the city in 2018. The 81-unit Citadines Culture Village Dubai will open in 2017 within Culture Village, an area poised to become the artistic and cultural hub of Dubai.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Citadines is one of our fastest growing brands. Since we fully acquired the Citadines Apart’hotel chain in 2004, we have more than doubled our Citadines portfolio from the initial 5,100 apartment units in 18 European cities to more than 12,000 units in 81 properties and 52 cities across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region. With the fast-growing middle class and the rise of low-cost air travel, we are seeing more independent travellers who enjoy the flexibility to choose the services according to their lifestyles.”
Mr Lee said: “We see tremendous opportunities for our international-class serviced residences to expand in Vietnam, Malaysia and the UAE. Vietnam has seen a steady growth in foreign direct investments in 2014, 70% of which were from the manufacturing and processing sectors. Visitor arrivals also grew to nearly 8 million last year and Ho Chi Minh City accounted for more than 50% of the arrivals. We expect demand for serviced residences from expatriates and travellers to increase. The addition of Citadines Regency Saigon will strengthen Ascott’s leadership position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Vietnam.”
“Demand for quality accommodation in Malaysia has been growing strongly as the country continues to attract foreign direct investments. Last year, Malaysia’s foreign direct investment grew more than 8% to RM64.6 billion compared with 2013. Kota Kinabalu is an industrial and commercial centre of Sabah, Malaysia’s second largest state and the country’s largest producer of palm oil and cocoa. Many government institutions and international corporations have also set up branch offices in the city. Being the first international brand of serviced residence in Sabah, we expect strong demand for Citadines Waterfront Kota Kinabalu.”
Mr Lee added: “The launch of our Citadines brand in the UAE supports the growing demand from independent travellers who want the flexibility to choose the services they require as compared to luxury hotels that offer full services. According to data from STR Global, the Middle East’s hospitality market is the fastest growing in the world. The UAE and Saudi Arabia account for 70% of rooms in the region’s pipeline and we see great potential for further growth in this market.”