Hilton, UA Hotel sign South Africa's first Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch, Durban, South Africa. Photo credit: Hilton(Image: Hilton)

Hilton and UA Hotel have signed a management agreement to open the Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch in Umhlanga, Durban on South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal coast. 

The new 207-room hotel will be developed within the Umhlanga Arch mixed-use development, which is currently under construction in Umhlanga's Ridgeside district. The property will be near the King Shaka International Airport, La Lucia Ridge, Durban and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. 

"Umhlanga is a terrific location in which to launch Hilton Garden Inn in South Africa. A popular upmarket commercial and leisure destination, Umhlanga is one of South Africa's fastest-growing economic areas. The relocation of nearby King Shaka International Airport in 2010 and a significant boost in office space is driving considerable growth in corporate traffic, creating demand for what will be our first Hilton Garden Inn in South Africa," Patrick Fitzgibbon, SVP of development, EMEA, Hilton, said in a statement.

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"We are pleased to announce Hilton as our international hotel partner. The hotel will operate under its Hilton Garden Inn brand, a quality, upper mid-scale brand with a proven track record of providing exceptional service–the perfect fit for Umhlanga Arch. Along with the hotel, this exciting project will include offices, retail space and contemporary apartments across 45,000 square meters of development," Charles Thompson, UA Hotel, said in a statement. 

The new Garden Inn will expand Hilton's portfolio of approximately 90 hotels currently operating and under construction across five brands, including Garden Inn, in Africa. The brand currently has more than 150 hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Africa has about 39 Hilton-branded hotels, five of which are in South Africa. These are the Hilton Durban, the Hilton Cape Town City Centre, the Hilton Sandton, the DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town-Upper Eastside and the Conrad Pezula.

Hilton's most recent hotel signings in Africa were in Morocco and Egypt in 2018. Hilton signed the 150-room Hilton Rabat opening in 2022 with Wessal Capital on March 29. The group signed another nine hotels in Upper Egypt and other governates a day earlier on March 28. These are slated to open within the next five years.