Mövenpick signs deal for hotel in Basra, Iraq

Akeel Ibraheem Al-Khalidy, chairman of the South Group Corporation, with Olivier Chavy, president & CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will open a new property in the Iraqi city of Basra in the first quarter of 2018. Mövenpick will manage the property being developed by South Group Corporation and its chairman Akeel Ibraheem Al-Khalidy. The 152-room hotel will be located in the Al Baradi'yah commercial district near Basra International Airport.

Mövenpick is reportedly looking to capitalize on the rapid infrastructure growth of the region, a gas and oil hotspot. “Our upcoming property will cater to pent-up demand from the corporate sector, which contributes around 90 percent of hotel demand in Basra due to the high volume of oil and gas and shipping companies based in this booming region of Iraq,” Olivier Chavy, president & CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. 

The Swiss company is hardly the first international hotel company to establish a footprint in Iraq. Abu Dhabi-based Rotana already has three hotels in the country (Erbil Arjaan, Erbil Rotana and Karbala Rayhaan) and is expected to open its fourth—the 240-guestroom Slemani Rotana—in the center of Sulaymaniyah in the third quarter of this year. 
 
At the end of 2017, Mövenpick added another Muscat property to its Middle East pipeline. Investment firm Golden Group Holding will develop the OMR60-million Mövenpick Hotel Muscat as part of a mixed-use development in Al Mawaleh. The property will have 250 guestrooms and 115 serviced apartments.  

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