Construction starts on Erbil Best Westerns
Investor Golden Mountains Company's outlets to open in 2013 and 2014
The first hotel to complete will be an 82-room Best Western Premier at Erbil Airport, which will open next to thge new Erbil International Airport in 2013. This will be followed by the opening of a 160-room Best Western Erbil in the city centre in the first quarter of 2014.
Best Western International vice president international operations, Asia & the Middle East, Glenn de Souza, said: “Iraq was chosen for Best Western’s next step of brand expansion in the Middle East based on various positive aspects of the nation.
"These include the historical values, the country’s economy, the people and its financial resources, all of which are key elements in the immense potential of Iraq as both a major business centre and tourism destination.
"And Erbil, as a prominent trading centre with key road links and increasing air access, is a natural choice for our first hotels in Iraq,” he added.
Best Western International, which already operates two mid-scale hotels in Saudi Arabia and one in Qatar, is also set to launch new Best Western Premier hotels in Kuwait and Oman. Both the 96-room Best Western Mahbola in Kuwait and the 212-room Best Western Premier Muscat in Oman are scheduled to open by the end of the year.
Mr De Souza said the company was looking for further opportunities in the region.
“The Middle East is a fast-growing market and Best Western never stops looking for opportunities to expand its portfolio. If we find good partners and strong development opportunities in other countries, we will certainly look to expand our regional portfolio further,” said de Souza.
Meanwhile, Best Western is also planning to expand in Saudi Arabia, where it recently opened the Best Western Plus Sand Rose Suite Hotel in Al Khobar and the Best Western Orchid Hotel in Riyadh.
In the next two years, Best Western International expects to open nine new hotels in seven cities across the Kingdom, adding a total of 1,589 rooms.