On 4 February, CHI Hotels & Resorts (CHI), the management arm of International Hotel Investments plc, issued a press release announcing that it signed a 15-year technical services and operations agreement with the Social Security Fund of the Ministry of the Interior of the United Arab Emirates for the operation of a second Ramada Hotel in the centre of the United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s largest oil producers, but is actively diversifying its economy through investments in financial services and tourism.
This contract follows the 10-year agreement signed with Mainland Investment LLC in June 2008 in respect of the as Mafraq Hotel in Abu Dhabi, which is also going to be operated under the Ramada brand. Moreover, during 2008, the Malta-based hotel management company managed to secure contracts for hotels opening in Benghazi, London, Egypt and Hungary.
The new Ramada Abu Dhabi Beach hotel, targeted to open in 2011, is being developed on a 31,000 square-meter site with a 300-meter beach front and is within a short drive from Maqta Bridge, at the entrance to Abu Dhabi city center. The hotel will feature 313 guest rooms and suites on seven floors, several meeting rooms, a two-story ballroom, three restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, and a health club with gymnasium, squash courts, massage rooms, a sauna, and solarium.
During the announcement of the agreement, CHI’s CEO Tony Potter said that “This new deal in Abu Dhabi reaffirms CHI’s current and future commitment to actively grow its management operations, not only in Europe where we already have a strong presence, but most importantly in the vast African and Middle East regions. These territories are not only a natural breeding ground for our Mediterranean born ‘Corinthia’ luxury brand, but also offers extensive growth opportunities for the well-established Wyndham and Ramada brands, which CHI operates on an exclusive basis through its joint venture with the US-based Wyndham Hotel Group.”