Rotana set to open its first hotel in Iran at the end of this year

(Image: Ninara / CC by 2.0)

Abu Dhabi-based Rotana hotels group plans to open its first hotel in Iran in less than a year. The new five-star Rayhaan hotel will be near the Imam Reza shrine, in Mashhad. 

Rotana's president and CEO Omer Kaddouri said in a statement, “We have signed hotels in Tehran, Mashhad and Isfahan. We expect to open our first hotel in Mashhad, a shrine city, by the first quarter of next year."

The hotel management company will have 104 operating hotels by 2020. 55 hotels are currently operating while 49 are still under development.

“Years ago, we identified a target to open 100 hotels by 2020. We will open 17 hotels between now and the end of 2018, valued at $1 billion, which will take the number of existing hotels to 72. And with another 32 hotels opening over the next two years, we will not only achieve our target, but surpass it.”

Iran plans to allow multiple luxury hotels to be constructed across the country in an attempt to attract more visitors to the country.

With a large number of natural and historical sites, Iran is one of the most touristic countries in the world.

Visitor numbers have soared since Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the nuclear deal Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in July 2015 and started implementing it in Jan. 2016.

In Oct. 2016, Iran attempted to further increase tourism, drive development and improve infrastructure by offering up to 13 years of tax holidays for hotel developers. It also set plans to build 300 hotels to open in the next five years to support its goal.