- 25 new properties signed worldwide as domestic demand for serviced residences remains resilient, while international travel gradually resumes
- Five new properties set to open in Middle East and Africa between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021
Dubai – CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has set a new record by securing contracts for 25 new properties with over 5,400 units across 19 cities globally. This is the largest number of new properties Ascott has clinched in the first five months of any year, and represents a 139% year-on-year increase in the number of units secured, compared to the same period in 2019.
Despite the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ascott’s most recent acquisitions within the Middle East and Africa regions, remains on track; with openings between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021.
To end 2020, Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat (Oman) will open in Q4. 2021 is poised to provide a tenacious start for the group, with four openings in Q1. 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.
In the coming year, Ascott will also mark its maiden venture into Morocco, introducing Citadines Racine Casablanca to the country’s largest city in H2 2021.
On a global scale, Ascott will also expand its geographical reach into three new major cities in China and Indonesia. It will enter Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province; and Nanchang, the capital and largest city of Jiangxi Province. In Indonesia, it has expanded into Jayapura, the capital and largest city of Papua Province. Ascott will also further strengthen its presence in key gateway cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in China; Batam and Surabaya in Indonesia; as well as Manila in the Philippines.
Mr. Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s Chief Executive Officer for Lodging and Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, 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. 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.”
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Ascott continued to ramp up its presence with these new signings and property openings, while many of its serviced residences remained operational to provide a safe haven for its guests, including healthcare workers, returning nationals, and those affected by border closures. As cities emerge from their lockdowns, Ascott’s value proposition as a ‘home away from home’ continues to resonate well with its guests and partners across the world.
In May 2020, Ascott launched ‘Ascott Cares’ to deliver stringent hygiene and cleanliness standards as well as safe distancing to continue providing safe homes for its guests, and a safe working environment for its staff. Covering nine commitments, ‘Ascott Cares’ is in compliance with the World Health Organization standards and local regulations. It is being rolled out progressively to its properties globally from June 2020. For more information on ‘Ascott Cares’, please visit: www.the-ascott.com/ascottcares.
The 25 new properties are secured under management contracts, franchise contracts and a lease, and will open in phases between 2020 and 2024. With the addition of these new contracts, Ascott has a total of close to 118,000 units in over 700 properties worldwide. These new contracts will offer a boost towards achieving Ascott’s global target of 160,000 units by 2023.