Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement with Kurdonia Company for Tourism & Hospitality Ltd., owned fully by Hiwa Rauf Company, for its third hotel in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, Iraq.
The new build, 223-room DoubleTree by Hilton Sulaymaniyah is expected to open early 2015 and marks Hilton’s debut Kurdistan’s second largest city, after Erbil, Sulaymaniyah.
The group has two other properties in the pipeline for Iraq, the Double Tree Suites by Hilton Erbil expected to open before the year end and Hilton Erbil Hotel & Spa scheduled to open in 2016.
“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,” said Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa president Rudi Jagersbacher.
“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 be located on the main city thoroughfare, close to Sulaymaniyah International Airport, and within the new central business district surrounded by upscale residential, commercial and government offices.
The hotel comprises 173 rooms, including 10 suites, alongside 56 multi-sized serviced apartments, two boardrooms, five meeting rooms, a business centre annd a large ballroom.
Other facilities include a health club, an indoor and outdoor pool, a children’s club and a multi-sensory spa facility. Dining options vary from a specialty and all-day dining restaurants, to a lobby lounge and a destination bar.
DoubleTree by Hilton global head John Greenleaf 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 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,” he added.
Melak Iraq, an Iraqi financial advisory firm, acted as adviser to Hiwa Rauf Company on the transaction.