As tourism in the country continues to find its feet following years in the wilderness, Marriott has offered a huge boost to Iraq with the signing of an agreement with Empire Iraq to manage two hotels in Erbil.
The 200-room, upscale Marriott Hotels & Resorts-branded hotel and a 75-unit deluxe Marriott Executive Apartments property are scheduled open simultaneously in 2014.
The hotels will be part of a large mixed-use project called Empire World, now under construction, that include residential towers, private villas, office towers and retail and leisure space.
Located in Kurdistan in the northern part of Iraq, Erbil is the gateway to the region and is served non-stop from Europe and the Middle East by a number of international air carriers including Lufthansa, Etihad, Turkish, Royal Jordanian and Fly Dubai.
“Erbil is an encouraging destination with a lot of economic and commercial opportunity,” said Ed Fuller, president & managing director of international lodging for Marriott International.
“The city serves as a gateway to a region with vast deposits of oil and gas, fertile soil for agriculture and antiquities.
The 200-room Erbil Marriott will provide a range of amenities, connectivity and services to help business travellers achieve their objectives.
Recreational amenities will include an extensive fitness facility, an on-site spa and an outdoor swimming pool.
Marriott Executive Apartments Erbil
Designed for extended stay travellers, the 75-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Erbil will offer the convenience of a five-star, full-service hotel with the space, ambience and privacy of residential living.
It will be located in a separate building adjacent to the hotel and, although its residents will be able to avail themselves of all the services and amenities offered by the Erbil Marriott, they will have their own leisure facilities, lobby and a residents’ lounge.
“We are very excited to welcome Marriott to Empire World,” said Peshraw Agha, chairman of the board of Empire.
“Marriott is the first truly global hotel brand to recognize the potential of Iraq and establish not one but two properties in Kurdistan.”
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