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Anantara marks MENA entry

World Travel Awards winner Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is expanding its portfolio across the MENA region with the opening of four new properties by 2011.

Owned by Thailand-based Minor International, the brand is on track to open its first Middle East project at the end of this year, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab in Liwa desert in the Empty Quarter (Rub Al-Khali).Styled like a desert fortress, it aims to be the ultimate in ‘get-away’ luxury boasting 196 guest rooms, suites and villas, a range of desert experiences, Anantara Spa, a conference facilities and children’s playground.

Anantara has also partnered with Blue City Company to develop a 122-room luxury resort and spa which will be located in Al Madina A’Zarqa, a natural peninsula some 60 minutes from the historical city of Muscat.

The luxury destination of Al Madina A’Zarqa will offer top-draw facilities including the Anantara Spa, exceptional service and a broad range of rooms delivered in an environment of unmatched elegance and refined luxury.

Marking Anantara’s entry into the African market the group is set to manage two unique five-star resorts in Morocco. Anantara Marrakech Resort & Spa and Anantara Mogador Resort & Spa will both open in 2011. The two hotels are the first of many planned with H Partners, a Morocco-based hospitality investment company.


Anantara Marrakech will be constructed within the Atlas Golf Resort on a six-hectare plot. As well as 80 guest rooms and suites in the main building, the resort will feature 29 pool villas that will form part of the hotel with a portion being for sale as residences.

Hotel guests will be within 10 minutes of the Djemaa El Fna, the centre of the Marrakech medina and the heart of the labyrinth of alleyways and side streets of this vibrant marketplace. Additionally, guests will have access to the 18-hole Atlas Golf course.

Anantara Mogador will be located in the first phase of an upmarket development adjacent to the historic town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. The resort will include 67 lavish pool villas. Tying in elements of local architecture and lush gardens, the resort and spa will evoke a sense of its surroundings and provide guests with unparalleled cultural experiences.

William E. Heinecke, CEO of Minor International said: “MINT is delighted to be furthering its commitment to this exciting new market. The locations we have chosen are true to the Anantara pillars of offering authentic cultural experiences and we believe we have found some of the world’s most enchanting destinations here in the Middle East.”

The group scooped “Thailand’s Leading Spa Resort” for the Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle at the 2008 World Travel Awards.