Facilities Managers in major African cities are in for exciting times as major Global hotel brands rev up effort to expand theirNew opportunities beckon for FMs.docx1.jpg3 African market footprint.

The new expansion drive will see Marriot International aim to deliver 200 new hotels consisting of 37,000 guest rooms by 2022 for approximately $8.5 billion courtesy of its Real Estate partners.

The new markets for the company include Benin, Botswana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The company which will make its debut in the Ivory Coast will also push to boost its presence in existing markets, including Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.

In a similar move Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is set to develop six new hotels in Africa by 2020.

The new target will enable the Global brand double its presence in the continent by growing its current portfolios in Morocco and Tanzania, while it makes its debut in Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal.

Just recently, Hilton released its expansion plans across the continent with a strategy to invest $50 million over the next five years toward the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative.

The company is expected to support the expansion of its Sub-Saharan African portfolio by rebranding about 100 hotels with close to 20,000 guestrooms in multiple African markets under the Hilton brands.

The most prominent on the brand’s list is; The Pinnacle hotel set to become the continent’s tallest building on 300 metres – far surpassing the continent’s current leader, Johannesburg’s 223-meter Carlton Centre.

The complex will house a 255-room Hilton Hotel, the luxury brand’s third in Kenya and 50th in Africa. The towers will also include elite residences, business and leisure facilities, and a helipad on the roof of the taller tower.

Real Estate Analysts say this new expansion drive will not only open the continent’s FM industry to new opportunities, but will also offer African FM professionals a platform to replicate best practice in their local markets.

“These investments couldn’t come at a better time,” Engr. Femi Akintunde, Group Managing Managing Director, Alpha Mead, commented, adding that sophisticated projects such as these, offers African FM professionals the right platform to test their wit and preparedness to become major players in the Global FM market.

“Beyond maintaining the physical Real Estate assets, this is also a good opportunity for FMs to demonstrate their competence in delivering bespoke services that conform to the brand experience of these international hoteliers”.

Commending the huge Foreign Direct Investment into Africa’s Real Estate market in an earlier forum, Engr. Akintunde explained that while this is a true reflection of the immense opportunities in the continent, he raised the need for FMs to strategically position themselves as a key component of the Real Estate value chain.

“These are obviously good signs for the market and economy. But if we do not take the maintenance of these asset seriously, they will not return value to their promoters and this will continue to discourage investment in the region”, he said.

It will be recalled that the Aya Brothers recently opened the doors of their 5-star Pearl of Africa Hotel in Uganda. Commending the initiative, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda applauded the investors for their faith in the country’s economy, adding that the new facility will create thousands of jobs and boost the country’s tourism sector.

Standing on 23 floors, the new edifice boasts of 300 rooms, a 740 square metre ballroom, nine meeting rooms, two boardrooms, a business centre, three food and beverage outlets, gym and wellness facilities.