Modern Technological Advancements in the Hospitality Sector by Maya Ziadeh

It is important to not only keep track of the latest technology trends in the hospitality industry, but to move with the times to give their guests a unique experience. We have Maya Ziadeh, Vice President Development at Accor – Middle East speaking at the event about the drastic changes in the industry & the opportunities Technology in Hospitality hold in future. 

Here’s what she has to say about Accor’s hotels and the Saudi Arabian hospitality market. 


1.Technology being the core of the hotel experience, what new concepts has Accor developed to better the Guest experience?

During the past 24 months, Accor has implemented a number of program and services which revolve around technology, in order to make the guest experience a seamless one:

  • QR codes for in room dining and restaurant menus so guests can view menus directly on their phone
  • Accor Key: Guests can enjoy a keyless door entry solution. On arrival at their destination, customers will receive their room key virtually upon downloading Accor’s digital key app. Customers will then be given access to rooms, entry to meeting rooms and floor access via lifts using their smartphone. Once departing the hotel, the mobile key will automatically be deactivated. 
  • ALL Connect: Partnership launched with Microsoft, the program enables corporate customers and meeting planners to combine physical in-hotel meetings with virtual interactions across multiple locations simultaneously. Meetings will take place on the Microsoft Teams platform, where attendees can connect and engage virtually, alongside physical attendees at Accor meeting spaces.

    2. Accor being the leading operator, how many more properties are in pipeline in Saudi Arabia?

Accor currently operates 41 properties in the Kingdom, with over 16,400 keys, with a further 21 properties scheduled to open by the end of 2024, which will add more than 4,500 rooms to the portfolio.

Key openings to highlight for the remainder of this year include the much-anticipated Banyan Tree AlUla, the first for the brand in the Kingdom, set to open by end of October, as well as Swissotel Living Jeddah, which is set to open in November.

Throughout 2023, several openings are scheduled to take place, amongst them we can highlight Raffles Jeddah, Fairmont Ramla Serviced Residences which will be the first Serviced Residences for the Fairmont brand in the Kingdom and Sofitel Riyadh. Furthermore, one Movenpick property, three Novotel properties and two Mercure properties will also join the overall portfolio.

3. How is Accor different from other leading hotels operating in Saudi Arabia?

Accor is currently the largest operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, having entered the market more than 30 years ago.

The wide offering of brands Accor is able to offer potential partners ranges from economy with Ibis, Novotel, Adagio, to Premium with Movenpick, Pullman and luxury with Fairmont, Sofitel and Raffles. This variety of brand gives the opportunity for partners to find the right fit for their project. In addition, we also have various lifestyle brands i.e. SLS, 25h, Mondrian.

4. As a person responsible for development across middle east, what in your opinion makes the Saudi market different from the others?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a market that has a lot to offer, which offers a range of diverse experiences ranging from cultural to heritage, to religious tourism and the modern cities with seasonal events.

Accor is fully committed to continue to expand its presence and brand portfolio across the country, with brands that suit every location whether it is cultural, corporate, leisure or heritage.

5. What is your experience of working with developers in Saudi?

It is clear to see a shift in the vision and requirements of potential partners and developers, they are no longer only looking for luxury brands such as Raffles, Fairmont or Sofitel, they are also looking for brands in other brand scales which fit the location and market needs.

This region in general and Saudi in particular, is still appreciating a close relationship with the executive team and this is what we provide at Accor. Our owners are our partners for the next 20 or 25 years, hence, our office Jeddah is looking after our partners in the Kingdom as well as our executive team in Dubai head office.


 6. How does Accor ensure meeting of global standards while upholding the uniquely local flavors?

There are of course standards that cannot be modified as they need to follow specific guidelines, however we do understand that localization and regional awareness are key when bringing a hotel to life. It is of the essence that the property fits in well with the market it will be operating in, and we can see this through specific interior design changes which can be made, as well as service additions which may be required to ensure the hotel fits with the neighbourhood it will be in.


7. How do you like your upcoming panel discussion at the REDS and what expectations do you have of the summit?

I am very much looking forward to my panel and hope it will be compelling for the audience and that it brings added value to their overall experience of the event.  I would expect meeting with investors and get to know more about upcoming projects in the Kingdom.

Ravi K Chandran

Founder, CEO

Arthur Adeya is an Architect by profession with over a decade’s experience in Architecture and over 6 years’ experience in Master Planning and Landscape Architecture.

Prior to joining Athena Properties Limited as a Director for design and planning, Arthur was a Principal Partner at Lexicon + ion In charge of Master Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design working with external teams to ensure projects.
He previously worked in the USA with The HOK Planning Group in Washington DC and EDSA Inc. The HOK Planning Group in Washington DC and EDSA The HOK Planning Group in Wash

Prior to joining Athena Properties Limited as a Director for design and planning, Arthur was a Principal Partner at Lexicon + ion In charge of Master Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design working with external teams to ensure projects.



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