Ascott cements another year of global growth

Ascott has 21 serviced residence units in the Middle East region.
Updated 24 December 2018
0

Ascott cements another year of global growth

It has been a milestone year for The Ascott Limited driven by new property openings across the MEA region.

In October, the company made its African debut with the launch of Kwarleyz Residence in Accra, the capital of Ghana. It is Ghana’s first international-class serviced residence in the capital’s upscale airport residential area. Ascott plans to extend its footprint in the West African nation next year, having secured a contract to manage Ascott 1 Oxford Street, a 220-unit serviced apartment in Accra’s Osu district known as the “West End” of Accra. 

“Africa is a lucrative market with huge potential and, after Asia, is the world’s second fastest-growing economy,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for Middle East, Africa and Turkey. 

In the Middle East, Ascott has extended its presence this year via a number of expansion deals, taking its total number of serviced residence units in the region to 21 (operational and pipeline). The company has accomplished 10 percent revenue growth across its overall property portfolio in Saudi Arabia, alongside a 10-15 percent average increase growth in occupancy. 

“Saudi Arabia remains a dynamic market within the Middle East and as the Kingdom diversifies its economy, we’re seeing strong demand for Ascott’s serviced residences driven by domestic and regional travelers from business and leisure sectors,” said Miccolis. 

Elsewhere in the GCC nations, Bahrain proved to be another strong performer for the owner-operator, with a 15 percent increase in occupancy and 5 percent revenue growth for 2018. 

“Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, it promises to be an exciting period for Ascott with expansion through strategic alliances, management contracts and franchisee agreements. We’re well on our way to becoming the leading serviced apartment provider in the Middle East with a target of 5,000 units across MEA and Turkey by 2020,” said Miccolis.


360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

Updated 23 May 2019
0

360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) and Mowgli Mentoring have collaborated to strengthen the growing social enterprise sector in the Kingdom through the provision of 360-degree mentoring, which will support the personal and professional development of social entrepreneurs. The EMCC-accredited mentoring organization is working to built the capacity of Saudi mentors by instilling best mentoring practices and sharing experiences from its 10-year work around the world.

Globally, the concept of social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining momentum and positive attention as it combines commerce with social good, allowing entrepreneurs to go beyond profit to positively impact communities and societies. Supporting these entrepreneurs, therefore, is in line with the KKF’s vision, which is to have a Saudi society with equal opportunities.

The KKF’s collaboration with Mowgli resulted in the creation of the Athar (Impact) Mentoring Program.

This program aims to build and increase the capacity of Saudi mentors, and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to provide mentorship, support and guidance to social entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Matching mentors with social entrepreneurs and managing their mentorship relationships is a key benefit of the program.

To commence the mentoring program, Mowgli recently delivered a four-day workshop in the KKF premises in Riyadh. Fourteen professionals and business leaders received training to be 360-degree mentors before being matched with 14 social entrepreneurs. Both groups were provided with the guidelines to build solid foundations for their 1-2-1 mentoring relationships. In addition, the matched pairs will be supported over a duration of six months, during which structured on-going support will be provided to ensure that trust-based and impactful mentoring relationships are developed.

Mowgli Mentoring’s CEO Kathleen Bury said: “We see this program supporting the three themes on which the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 was built upon: Developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. By supporting social entrepreneurs, we’re working toward achieving the Kingdom’s economic aspirations of increasing SME GDP contribution by 20–30 percent by 2030. We are, therefore, excited to be back in Saudi Arabia and are honored to be working with the King Khalid Foundation in delivering this program, and building Saudi Arabia’s mentoring capacity to sustainably support change-makers and their surrounding ecosystems for years to come.”

The key to developing entrepreneurship and fostering economic development lies in having a well-balanced ecosystem with equal investment in four key pillars: Environment (schooling, parenting), finance (working capital, debt and equity financing), infrastructure (incubators, accelerators, utilities and sound legal frameworks) and human capital development (mentoring, skills and knowledge development). Mowgli supports the latter and has successfully delivered more than 110 mentoring programs across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.