Russian aparthotel brand eyes UAE market

The Pioneer Group is looking to bring its Yes aparthotel brand to the UAE.

The Pioneer Group has teamed up with Japanese architectural and urban design firm Nikken Sekkei, and has been showcasing its developments at Cityscape Global.

Both companies say they are confident a Russian brand would be attractive in the UAE:in the first 11 months of 2016, Russian visitors to the UAE totalled 215,000 - a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. With visas on arrival introduced in January this year, travel professionals expect those numbers to increase substantially by the end of 2017, especially if the Ruble continues to strengthen against the US dollar. Over the past year, it has gained nearly 13 per cent against the dollar.

Nikken Sekkei was the architectural firm behind the Yes mixed-use complex, Botanica, a 28-hectare project in north-eastern Moscow, Russia.

Fadi Jabri, executive officer for MENA, CIS and India regions, said: "The design of the Yes apart-hotel chain is such that it has a positive impact on the adjoining urban areas, through site improvement and landscaping, creating new working places and social infrastructure for residents. This has proven to be such a huge success in Russia that we are bringing our partnership with Pioneer Group to the Middle East where we are actively supporting their search for development opportunities.

Andrey Grudin, managing director, Pioneer Group, said: "The unique characteristics of the Yes aparthotel brand guarantee a high occupancy rate in the first year of operation. The financial model of the project provides for an annual yield of 10 per cent, which is approximately 1.5-2 times more profitable than independently investing in any one-room apartment.

"The Yes aparthotels is a unique product for the Russian market, combining the format of apartments and a reliable investment tool that bring a guaranteed income for each Ruble invested. We believe this model is perfectly suited for the regional market here, especially in the UAE, with a healthy investor appetite spurred by a strong real estate sector," he added.

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