Meliá Hotels International has announced its entry into the Iranian market with the first five-star branded hotel, which will be managed by an international hotel company, Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel.
The property will be located in the largest mixed residential, commercial and hotel complex to be developed in Iran, which is currently being built in Salman Shahr, a popular holiday destination on the Caspian Sea.
The Spanish hotel chain takes an important step in becoming one of the leading international hotel groups in Iran, a country which expects to see significant tourism development after the lifting of sanctions that have restricted foreign investment since 2006.
Iran expects to attract more than 20 million passengers a year by 2025, compared to the current five million.
The hotel is part of the “Ghoo, Middle East Diamond” stunning development being built by the Iranian businessman and investor Ahad Azimzadeh in Salman Shahr (Mazandaran Province), in the north of the country, which is a year round business and holiday destination.
In addition to the hotel, the resort will also feature two residential towers, a sports centre, parking and a retail mall – which is already open to the public – all within an area of 180,000m².
Gran Meliá Ghoo will occupy a 130-metre high tower, boasting 319 deluxe rooms of different types including a Presidential Suite measuring more than 500m².
The hotel will provide all of the luxury services and facilities expected of a five-star hotel, with seven restaurants and bars, over 1,300 m² of meeting and banquet facilities, two swimming pools, a spa, and diverse leisure and shopping facilities.
Gabriel Escarrer, vice chairman, Meliá Hotels International, stated that the hotel is an important milestone for the Gran Meliá brand and for the company: “We have always been pioneers in the development of new markets in the travel and tourism industry, so it is a great challenge for us to be involved in a project, which is so important for the future of the industry in this country, in a historic moment for the international relations within the area.
“We firmly believe in Iran’s tourism potential and I am also very proud to have earned the trust of our partners in the management of this hotel, a further demonstration that we are a significant international player for the most prestigious hotel projects anywhere in the world.”
One of the largest countries in the Middle East, Iran has a strategic position connecting Russia and Turkey to the Arab world, as well as being a key hub for transportation between Asia and Europe.
Iran has one of the top 20 largest economies in the world, and the lifting of sanctions will now open up a new phase for foreign investment, for which the Iranian government is already implementing strategies to accelerate the development of key sectors, especially oil and gas, technology and tourism.