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Holiday Inn To Begin Construction Mid 2007

The Holiday Inn Malé, a 120 room hotel catering for seasoned business travellers, airline crew and stopover visitors, will be under construction from mid-2007, the UK based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced.

The property, which will be situated close to the President's office at the junction of Nasreeny Goalhi and Maeer Ahmed Magu, will be developed by Malé Hotel Associates Sourcing Limited. Construction of the hotel is expected to begin by 2nd quarter of this year, the company says, and it is hoped doors will open by late-2008.

IHG, which will be managing the hotel as a non-equity partner, has teamed up with partners from Malé Hotel Associates Sourcing Limited, led by ex-STO Deputy Director Abdul Sattar Ali and Lawrence Lee. “Both bring credible hotel development and operating experience to this strategic partnership, and they have successfully turned lacklustre assets into profitable business ventures,” says the IHG press release.

Ali is also Director and majority shareholder of Aribeach Resort on Ari Atoll. Lee, an industry veteran who has played key roles in a number of successful hospitality property acquisitions, is the former owner of award-winning White Sands Resort & Spa.

The entry of the Holiday Inn brand into Malé coincides with the robust growth of Maldives’ vibrant tourism industry. The archipelago is experiencing a development boom with 35 new islands released for tourism at an estimated budget of US$600 million.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr Abdul Hameed Zakariyya, said, “Maldives’ natural appeal as a beach, diving and honeymoon destination of exceptional beauty, has seen tourism grow into our biggest industry. We are expecting a sustained growth momentum of about 7% annually over the next few years. Demand will clearly exceed the current capacity of 16,000 rooms. We welcome the entry of esteemed global players like InterContinental Hotels Group with its renowned Holiday Inn brand. Companies like IHG play a role as a tourism partner in attracting tourists from new markets. Their presence adds to Maldives’ image as an exotic destination offering world class infrastructure and service.”

Jan Smits, Chief Operating Officer for Southern Asia and Korea, InterContinental Hotels Group, added: “Malé stands to benefit from IHG’s Priority Club Rewards’ 31-million-strong global membership base which presents a potential pool of guests from around the world. With one guest checking into a Holiday Inn hotel around the world every four seconds, Maldives looks set to enjoy a boost in visitor arrivals.”

InterContinental Hotels Group is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. It owns a wide portfolio of hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel IndigoTM

For six consecutive years, Holiday Inn has been named “Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand in Asia Pacific” and “Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand in the World” by readers of Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region for InterContinental Hotels Group worldwide. The Group’s portfolio in this region includes 165 hotels and over 46,000 guest rooms.

Courtesy: By Minivan News
01 February 2007


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