Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East and Africa (MEA) has unveiled plans to launch its Studio M brand in Riyadh in partnership with Saudi owner Waseel Properties and developer Raseel Properties. The 145-key property is the first Studio M brand in the Middle East and will be centrally located in Riyadh on King Fahd Road and is due to open in Q2 -2015.
"In Waseel, Millennium & Copthorne has found a like-minded partner that recognises the potential return of developing and operating a stylish and innovative budget brand such as Studio M," said Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President & CEO, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels MEA.
Whilst the Studio M brand aims to address the growing and relatively untapped 'Generation Y' regional market segment, it will also appeal to consumers of all ages who are "young at heart" and appreciate hip and contemporary design.
"Studio M is a very distinctive brand that addresses an under-represented segment of the regional market. In Riyadh, budget hotels account for just 10% of existing supply and only 1,000 rooms in the pipeline, compared to 7,000 for the upscale to luxury segments. We see tremendous potential for a contemporary budget brand, given that this existing market segment is too often represented by independent properties of variable quality," added Alzaabi.
The modern day concept, designed by world-renowned Italian architect and interior designer Piero Lissoni, has been created to appeal to smart and trendy corporate and leisure travellers, offering stylish and tech-driven functionality. Studio M Hotel, Riyadh by Millennium" features contemporary signature design, dedicated meeting facilities and an exciting new all-day dining concept called 'At the M'. The centrally located development will also include a swimming pool, gym, pool deck as well as a number of retail outlets.
Millennium & Copthorne has also identified a number of other prime locations in Abu Dhabi, Al Khobar and Jeddah for the innovative budget brand and is already in negotiations for further sites in Doha and Dubai, both of which are at an advanced stage, completing the line-up for up to six properties signed and or launched by 2017.
"Considering the current investor interest, we estimate that the brand will develop beyond these initial sites to as many as 20 locations within the next five years and we are looking forward to attracting young, upwardly mobile, tech-savvy travellers to this brand proposition," added Alzaabi.
The introduction of the Studio M brand to the Middle East region will further underscore Millennium & Copthorne's market position as one of the fastest growing hospitality groups in the region. Currently Millennium and Copthorne Hotels & Resorts operates 17 hotels, with approximately 5,000 rooms across the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Iraq, with an ambitious expansion plan.