Carlson Rezidor announces its first hotel in Iraq: the Radisson Blu Hotel, Erbil – located in the Kurdistan region – is already under construction and scheduled to open in 2017. With the arrival in Iraq, Rezidor is now present in 81 countries across Europe, the Middle East & Africa.
“Our long-term strategy targets asset-light and sustainable growth with a specific focus on emerging markets. Kurdistan is one of the most interesting emerging markets in the Middle East: this prospering oil-rich region is not affected from instabilities in Iraq and offers considerable business potential. We carefully monitor and evaluate safety & security in Kurdistan and are confident that the region will experience a further positive development”, said Wolfgang M. Neumann, President & CEO of Rezidor.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Erbil will be located in the Western suburbs of Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan – only 2.5 kilometres away from the Iraq Kurdistan parliament and 3 kilometres away from Erbil International Airport which is the main gateway to the region. The upper upscale hotel will offer 260 guest rooms, an all-day-dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant, a lobby bar, meeting rooms and a ballroom, a gym and a spa.
“Erbil is an attractive hub for international companies, attracts a growing number of leading international investors, and shows a higher GDP growth than other parts of Iraq. The regional government is actively driving the area development, and we look forward to supporting travel & tourism in Erbil and Kurdistan together with our partners. We also want to be an important employer: By creating new jobs for local talent and engaging with the community we operate in, we can make a difference”, commented Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer at Rezidor.
Besides an increasing number of business travellers, Erbil also attracts tourists: The city is famous for its archaeological citadel which dates back to 600 years B.C., if not before. It has been claimed that the site is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the world. Recently, the citadel has been included as one of the 100 most endangered cultural sites in the world by the World Monument Fund.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Erbil will be operated by The Rezidor Hotel Group.