A Closer Look at Staybridge Suites Middle East and North Africa

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We caught up with Pascal Gauvin, COO, India Middle East and Africa whilst at this month's Arabian Hotel Investment Conference for a short Q and A about the growth of the Staybridge Suites brand within the Middle East and North African region.

Question: Are there any differences between the Staybridge Suites in MENA when compared with Europe?

Answer: The essence of the brand remains long stay. We offer a choice of studio, one and two bedroom levels of accommodation. The comparative size of unit tends to be larger than in Europe. All MENA properties offer a swimming pool (unlike in most European locations) and we use the fountain as a focal public area which compares to the fireplace in European and US regions.

Question: How are your Middle Eastern properties fairing where there's political unrest in some areas?

Answer: All things considered, our Cairo, Beirut and Abu Dhabi locations have seen amazing results in the first year of operation.

We have families staying at these locations, that have been with us since early opening and there's a great family atmosphere - they treat their stay like their home and more. The school bus arrives to pick up their children, we collect their shopping and they feel secure - why have a villa? General Managers aim to meet all their guests every two days during the communal barbecue evening which replaces the cheese and wine evenings that are so popular in Europe.

Question: What's the MENA pipeline for the Staybridge Suites brand?

Answer: It's really strong - we have another Abu Dhabi property launching shortly. Today we have three open and there's six more to come - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Khobar, two in Jeddah and another part of the Middle East which we're really excited about to be announced shortly.

Question: Sum up the Staybridge Suites brand in three words.

Answer: Global, local, personal.

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