Hiwa Rauf and Rudi Jagersbacher
Hilton to manage new DoubleTree in Kurdistan
Dubai, March 26, 2013
Hilton Worldwide has signed an agreement with Kurdonia Company for Tourism & Hospitality towards managing a new DoubleTree hotel in the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The new build, 223-room DoubleTree by Hilton Sulaymaniyah is expected to open early 2015.
The hotel will be the third Hilton Worldwide pipeline property in Kurdistan and the first for Kurdistan’s second largest city of Sulaymaniyah.
DoubleTree by Hilton Sulaymaniyah will be ideally located on the main city thoroughfare and within the new central business district surrounded by upscale residential, commercial and government offices. The property will also enjoy close proximity to Sulaymaniyah International Airport as well as the old town with its bustling streets, bazaars and market shopping.
Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa said: “Hilton Worldwide’s innovative spirit is very much alive and well as we continue to expand our presence and explore exciting new markets.”
“The Iraq Kurdistan region is attracting increasing numbers of international travellers which is fuelling demand for quality hotel accommodation, particularly in gateway cities like Sulaymaniyah. Today’s signing of such a well located property will help us to meet that growing demand with dedicated first-class facilities and service.”
DoubleTree by Hilton Sulaymaniyah will feature a range of quality accommodations comprising 173 rooms, including 10 suites, alongside 56 multi-sized serviced apartments. It will also have two spacious boardrooms, five meeting rooms and a business centre as well as a large multi-purpose ballroom.
Hotel amenities will also include a health club, an indoor and outdoor pool, a children’s club and a multi-sensory spa facility. Dining options will offer restaurants, including one specialty and all-day dining, a lobby lounge and a destination bar.
John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton said: “With today’s signing we have two distinctive DoubleTree hotels scheduled to open in the flourishing Kurdistan region by 2015, both of which are ideally suited to meet the diverse business, leisure and lifestyle demands of the city. We see great potential in this area of the Middle East and look forward to bringing our signature style, service and forward thinking approach to this new market.”
Hiwa Rauf, owner of Hiwa Rauf Company, which owns the Kurdonia Company for Tourism & Hospitality, said: “This hotel represents one of a series of investment projects that have been under development for a number of years, including real estate projects of Goizha City and Baharan City, and this is in addition to our continued investment in Telecommunications such as Asia Cell and Fanoos Telecom.”
“We firmly believe that Iraq will continue to be one of the most attractive places to invest and, as travel to Kurdistan, and to Sulaymaniyah in particular, continues to grow it is clear that further infrastructure is required to support the expansion.”
Rebaz Rauf, CEO of Hiwa Rauf Company added: “Our vision is to create long lasting developments with clear focus on functional design and attention to detail. This hotel with Hilton Worldwide will be an execution of this vision.”
Melak Iraq, an Iraqi financial advisory firm, acted as adviser to Hiwa Rauf Company on the transaction. – TradeArabia News Service