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Katara Hospitality joins Milano Expo 2015 celebrations as Excelsior Hotel Gallia opens

Doha-based Katara Hospitality today welcomes the internationally-renowned Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan to The Luxury Collection portfolio, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

The property opens today following an extensive renovation and will mark The Luxury Collection’s seventh hotel in Italy, as the brand remains on track to surpass 100 hotels globally in the next five years.

The management agreement was signed last year by H.E. Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, chairman of Katara Hospitality.

“We always embrace the local spirit wherever we invest in hotel assets around the world and the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan is no exception,” said H.E. Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, chairman, Katara Hospitality.

“We have made a major investment to bring this grand property back to its true glory.

“Today, it gives us great pleasure to share our Italian flagship property with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.”

Located in the Piazza Duca d’Aosta, Excelsior Hotel Gallia opened in 1932 in central Milan as one of the city’s most prestigious hotels.

Having undergone a meticulous renovation and strategic expansion, the hotel will return its original grandeur where Milan’s most fashionable mix and mingle.

Marrying contemporary design with the Belle Époque architectural style, the hotel’s new architecture and design concept – led by Studio Marco Piva – has already won an Italian tourism industry award, recognising its outstanding combination of historical and contemporary elements.

The hotel will offer 235 elegant guest rooms and suites, a signature restaurant and a roof-top bar with panoramic views of the city, an elegant lounge bar and cigar room, plus 1,000 square metres of wellness facilities including a spa, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre.

Excelsior Hotel Gallia will also offer unparalleled event and meeting spaces for special celebrations including a congress centre spanning more than 1,000 square metres and comprising two ballrooms, six meeting rooms and a business centre.

Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla, chief executive officer, Katara Hospitality added: “We are confident the ethos of The Luxury Collection brand is a strategic fit for our hotel as it is important that we have an operator which understands and respects the heritage of this wonderful hotel, ensuring it occupies its rightful position in the Italian and global market-places when it re-opens later this year.”

Milan Expo

Katara Hospitality is a global hotel owner, developer and operator with a collection of iconic hotels in key markets across Europe, Africa and Asia.

Also in Milan, the organisation had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Pavilion Committee to participate in Milano Expo 2015. 

The deal, signed by His Excellency Sultan Bin Rashid Al Khater, undersecretary of the ministry of economy and commerce and chairman of Qatar Pavilion at Expo 2015 and Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, chief executive of Katara Hospitality.

The drive behind the agreement is to extend mutual cooperation to showcase and achieve the success of Qatar’s participation at Expo Milan 2015.

The agreement framework signed between the two parties pronounces Katara Hospitality as the official hospitality partner for delegates, visitors, and associates of Qatar Pavilion Committee during Expo Milan 2015.

The event opened earlier this month and will run until October 31st.

There are 144 participating countries involved in Expo Milano 2015, with 20 million visitors expected.

Katara Hospitality will extend its support by offering hospitality related services and facilities at its recently opened Milan hotel; the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan.

Sultan Bin Rashid Al Khater stated: “We are pleased to announce Katara Hospitality as an official partner of Qatar Pavilion Expo 2015.

“As one of the world’s leading hospitality organisations; Katara Hospitality will extend all the support required to ensure Qatar’s successful participation during Expo Milan 2015 which aims to strengthen Qatar’s presence globally as a world trading hub while retaining its cultural roots and past.”

Expo Milan 2015 has chosen the evocative theme ‘Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life’.

The cultural promotion of healthy living through innovative solutions is the primary goal of the State of Qatar which is participating under a 2,451 square meter stand under the theme “Seeding Sustainability Innovative Solutions for Food Security”.

“We are delighted to be the official partner of the Qatar Pavilion Committee during Expo Milan 2015 by extending hospitality services at our iconic Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan.

“And we are confident that the approach and the principles of Qatar Pavilion Committee are strategically aligned with the principles underpinning Katara Hospitality’s presence on the global stage,” commented Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla.

At Expo Milan 2015 Qatar wants to show its commitment to safe, healthy and convenient food, and it is committed to building a culture of “healthy living” through the promotion of sports and scientific research for the responsible management of water and precious resources of its land.

Qatar Pavilion for Expo 2015

The cultural promotion of healthy living through innovative solutions is the primary goal of the State of Qatar, that participating in Expo Milano 2015, has chosen the evocative theme “Sowing sustainability, innovative solutions for sustainable food”.

The tour in the Qatar pavilion of roughly 40.000 square feet enables to experience the atmosphere of the souk, between colours, sounds and scents of the typical Arabian market.

The tour then continues at the second level within a huge “Jafeer”, the traditional food basket used in the Middle East with a diameter of 36 feet and standing 26 feet tall, it stages an interactive show on a helical structure set upwards twisting towards the ceiling.

Distinguishing features of the Pavilion are furthermost a large basket at the site’s centre that visually enhances the general theme of Expo 2015 ‘Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life’.

To continue, on top of the pavilion lies an impressive roof garden.

Tradition and innovation come all together in the Pavilion of the Emirate as an oasis of technology.

The State of Qatar has decided to participate at the Universal Exhibition in Milan in order to strengthen its presence globally as a world trading hub, although fundamentally without forgetting its cultural roots and past.

Qatar is the first country to build next to their Pavilion a theatre, called Orix.

A place designed with the intention of hosting many series of events that will be also available to other participating countries.

Katara Hospitality chief executive Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla, left, celebrates with World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke

Katara Hospitality

Katara Hospitality is a global hotel owner, developer and operator, based in Qatar.

With more than 40 years’ experience in the industry, Katara Hospitality actively pursues its strategic expansion plans by investing in peerless hotels in Qatar while growing its collection of iconic properties in key international markets.

Katara Hospitality has already achieved its target of owning and/or managing 30 hotels by 2016 two years ahead of schedule and is now focused on adding another 30 properties by 2026.

As the country’s flagship hospitality organisation, Katara Hospitality supports Qatar’s long term economic vision.

Katara Hospitality currently owns properties spread across three continents in Qatar, Egypt, Morocco, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand. 

While it partners with some of the finest hotel management companies, Katara Hospitality also owns its own operator brands, The Bürgenstock Selection and Murwab Hotels.

Katara Hospitality has gained global recognition for the contributions it has made to the Qatari and international hospitality landscape.

World Travel Awards

The World Travel Awards have named it the World’s Leading Hospitality Company for two years running as well as the Middle East’s Leading Hospitality Development Company earlier this year.

Commenting on the prestigious recognition, His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, chairman of Katara Hospitality, said: “This continued recognition as a leading hospitality company reflects Katara Hospitality’s milestone achievements in contributing to the hospitality industry through investment and development of the world’s most spectacular properties.

“We are proud to have been awarded these prestigious awards and to be recognised not only for our company achievements but for development projects such as Katara Towers, Lusail Marina District.

“We will continue to strive for hospitality excellence as we progress with our regional and global expansion.”