Hilton Worldwide has announced the signing of a management agreement with New York -based real estate developer The Claremont Group to open the company’s first hotel in Iraq, under its upscale, full-service DoubleTree by Hilton hotel brand.

Comprising of 200 serviced apartments, the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil is expected to open in the flourishing capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan at the end of 2013.

Iraqi Kurdistan or the Kurdistan Region is a semi-autonomous region of Iraq. The ancient city of Erbil (Arbil) is the regional capital and also is considered one of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Travellers can tour significant cultural landmarks like the Citadel of Erbil currently under restoration, which dates to the Assyrian empire and Alexander the Great. Lively bazaars, archaeological adventures and commercial enterprise from more than 100 multinational companies are just some of what awaits Erbil’s visitors. The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil will be strategically located on Erbil’s central thoroughfare, close to the recently expanded Erbil International Airport and the Ainkawa district, one of the city’s main retail and entertainment centres.

“Erbil’s commercial status is increasing year on year and the city has a growing reputation as an up and coming tourist destination. We have every confidence that the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil will prove popular with the growing number of business and leisure travellers,” commented Rudi Jagersbacher, area president, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide.

Tailored for the needs of long-staying guests, the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil will feature a business centre, health club, swimming pool, eight meeting rooms, two restaurants and a lobby lounge and bar. Approximately 200 jobs will be created at the hotel and the company’s focus will be on employing people locally.

Hilton Worldwide currently operates 53 properties across the Middle East and Africa and has 36 hotels in the development pipeline. So far this year, the company has signed a total of 13 new hotels into the pipeline across the U.A,E., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and now Iraq.