IFA readies global launch of Yotel pod-hotel brand

KUWAIT IFA Hotels and Resorts is planning a global expansion for its Yotel pod-hotel brand in the next five years, including a major rollout in the United Arab Emirates and long-term plans to debut in China.

Kuwait-based IFA, which is preparing next year to debut the US$300 million Yotel Times Square, New York City, is aiming to launch 30 to 40 of the modernistic economy hotels by 2016. Along with a substantial rollout in the UAE, IFA plans several more properties across Europe and the United States.

“Our plans are global for Yotel, so we are currently in conversations on a number of further projects in Europe, both in airports and in city-center locations, and we are in early conversations with potential partners in the Americas,” IFA Hotel Investments President Joe Sita tells The National of Abu Dhabi. “Further afield, we are very keen to move into China and into the rest of Asia.”

Yotel signed a deal with Abu Dhabi National Hotels in 2008 to develop two hotels in the UAE capital. The global economic downturn stalled those plans, but talks about resuming the project are ongoing.