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Hotels Investment Forum Spawns Agreement for Eleventh International Brand

The Fifth Africa Hotels Investment Forum (AHIF) has seen Nibras Hotel Plc, a local company, and Accor Hotels Group signing a technical assistance and management agreement for the hotel which will be established in a building currently being constructed near Banco di Roma at Piazza.

This agreement signed on Thursday October 1, 2015, followed another international agreement signed between Sunshine Business Plc and Hilton Worldwide on September 29, 2015.

The Nibras-Accor deal, for the Novotel brand, was facilitated by Calibra Hospitality Consultancy & Business Plc, a hotel consultancy firm, which, last year, was behind the signing of six similar agreements. Novotel, a four-star brand, is one of 17 international and regional hotel brands managed by Accor. It has a presence in 92 countries, where it operates approximately 4,000 hotels around the world.

This will lead international brand hotels to have a franchise agreement with Ethiopian hotel developers while the management will be done by locals, according to Neway Berhanu, managing director of Calibra.

Nibras and Accor started negotiating the deal during the fourth AHIF a year ago. Accordingly, Accor will consult Nibras in the ongoing construction of the 10-storey building, which will be used for the hotel. Remaining work includes partitioning and finishing, according to Yoseph Asrat, co-owner of the hotel and the company undertaking the construction. Upon completion in March 2018, the hotel management will be handed over to Novotel for 15 years.

Nibras, co-owned by Yoseph Asrat and Nardos Haddis, is spending 25 million dollars for the construction of the building being erected on a 1,500sqm plot of land on Churchill Avenue. The hotel will have 156 rooms, meeting halls, a spa, gym, two bars and two restaurants. Construction is being undertaken by Ethio-Canada Business Plc, a grade one construction company co-owned by Yoseph. Ethio-Canada was established with capital of 9.3 million Birr.

Yoseph, who used to be board member of Access Capital S.C., and shareholder of Access Real Estate, declined to give details of the deal with Accor. Accor was equally tight-lipped, merely confirming that the deal had been made.

Agreements facilitated by Calibra to date include the Aschalew Belay hotel project with Louvre Hotels Group, which has opened Golden Tulip Addis; Tsemex and Intercontinental launched Crown Plaza (which has a case in court with the local Crown hotel over trade name); Wyndham Hotel Group with ADM Business Plc, subsidiary of GET-AS International Plc to open Ramada Addis, for business by December, according to Michael Zager, regional vice president for the Middle East and Africa at Wyndham Hotel Group; Accor group with Enyi General Business for the Pullman Addis Hotel, Great Abyssinia for Best Western International Hotel and Noha Real Estate Plc for Western and Best Western Plus hotels which are now owned by Yekatit Paper Converting Plc, a subsidiary of Noha. All are expected to finalise preparations and begin operations in a period ranging from 6 months to one year, said Neway.

Other big deals which dominated the week was that between Sunshine and Hilton Worldwide for a five star hotel in Hawassa and the official opening of Marriott Executive Apartments, as well as an expansion deal also involving Marriott changing Marriott Courtyard Hotel to a five star hotel.

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