Four-part ‘a Look Into Accor’ Programme, Hosted by Emirati Photographer Obaid Al Budoor, Goes Behind the Scenes at Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel Properties in the Holy City
November 10, 2019: Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group, has partnered with free-to-air Arabic documentary channel, National Geographic Abu Dhabi, to produce a four-part series showcasing its world-class pilgrim hospitality services at its Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel properties in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Airing now, ‘A look into Accor’ follows the personal hospitality journey of host, Emirati photographer Obaid Al Budoor, glancing behind the scenes at Raffles Makkah Palace; Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel; Swissôtel Al Maqam; and Swissôtel Makkah, to discover how their expert teams go the extra mile to meet the needs of religious travellers from all over the world.
The first-of-its-kind documentary throws the spotlight on Makkah’s hospitality sector as it rises to the challenge of accommodating the growing number of Muslims visiting to perform Hajj and Umrah, with Accor taking centre stage as the leading provider of pilgrim hospitality services with the largest and most diverse portfolio of properties in the Holy City, all of which are close to the Holy Mosque.
Each episode demonstrates Accor’s expertise in a specific area, from rooms and housekeeping and safety and security, to food and beverage and personalised luxury, with Obaid interviewing team members and discovering first-hand how they provide visitors with a world-class hospitality experience.
“Our partnership with National Geographic Abu Dhabi presents an unrivalled opportunity to highlight the pivotal role Accor plays in hosting pilgrims in Makkah, with the Group’s portfolio of premium and luxury properties dedicated to meeting guests’ specific needs and enhancing their spiritual journey,” said Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer, Accor Middle East & Africa.
“As Hajj and Umrah visitor numbers increase and source markets diversify, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 targets, Accor is committed to expanding its hospitality offering in Makkah by opening new hotels and developing its range of tailored pilgrim services.”
In the first episode of ‘A look into Accor’, Obaid visits Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel, where the housekeeping department handles tonnes of linen and clothing daily to ensure all 1,650 luxury rooms and suites immerse guests in comfort and elegance.
Episode two whisks viewers into the kitchen at Swissôtel Al Maqam, which often caters to 3,000 guests dining in one sitting. The passionate F&B team handles thousands of kilogrammes of food daily, creating authentic seasonal specialities and international dishes the highest standards.
The third episode reveals how the security and safety team works around the clock to control the flow of guests in the lobby at Swissôtel Makkah. With the property providing direct access to the Holy Mosque, more than 2,600 pilgrims visit daily.
Raffles Makkah Palace, which is just a few steps from the Haram, is the focus of episode four, with Obaid discovering how the hotel team provides the personalised and luxurious guest experience for which the brand is renowned, paying attention to small details to create an unforgettable stay.
The mini-series, which is airing now on National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s YouTube channel, enhances awareness of Accor’s role in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah where it currently operates eight properties, three of which were crowned winners at the UK Hajj & Umrah Excellence Awards 2018 awards.
The Group has eight additional projects pipelined in Makkah, bringing 4,534 new keys to market and continues to enhance its pilgrim resources, having recently launched a website featuring essential information on Makkah and Madinah and tailored packages and offers at its properties.
Accor has also commissioned a report, due for release soon, that profiles the travel behaviour of pilgrims in the kingdom’s key source markets to identify how the Group can meet their future needs with innovative hospitality concepts and services.