100 Formule 1 budget hotels planned in India

Mumbai: Real estate developer Emaar MGF and Accor, a global economy and budget hotels group, today announced a joint venture to develop the Formule 1 brand of budget hotels to India.

The two partners plan to invest $300 million over 10 years in their venture, Budget Hotels India Private Limited.

Emaar MGF is a partnership between global property developer Emaar Properties and MGF Developments.

The company says that it has identified potential locations across the country for the development of Formule 1 hotels, starting with major metros and is looking at developing 50 hotels in the first five years of its operations and the remaining 50 in the next. Emaar says this would add to addition of 10,000 rooms for budget travellers.

"India is a key growth market for Emaar, and we have committed $1 billion - the country's largest ever foreign direct investment in the real estate sector - to develop several projects across the country," says Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman Emaar Properties.

He says "Alongside master-planned residential communities and special economic zones, we regard the hospitality sector as integral in our growth strategy for India. The tie-up with Accor marks our entry into budget hotels - a niche segment that has tremendous growth potential."

Gilles Pelisson, chief executive officer, Accor SA, says, "The Formule 1 product is ideally suited for India's rapidly growing tourism market. The brand is recognised as the international benchmark for budget hotels and has been successful in both established and emerging economies.

With the Formule 1, Ibis and other hotel investments, Accor says it is the largest international investor in the Indian hotel sector.

Acording to Pelisson, "India has one of the world's most dynamic economies and there is currently a vast undersupply of quality accommodation. With major growth in airlines servicing India's international and domestic sectors, and the emergence of many new business districts around the country, we see a tremendous future for the Formule 1 brand."

"With the recent boom in the international and national tourism, the Indian hospitality sector is witnessing an exponential rise in the number of budget travellers and to tap this opportunity, Emaar MGF and Accor have joined hands to introduce Formule 1 hotels in India," said Shravan Gupta, executive vice chairman and managing director, Emaar MGF.