Do­huk First to See In­ter­na­tional Five-Star Ho­tel

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By J. Watt

While con­struc­tion of in­ter­na­tional ho­tels is pro­gress­ing across Er­bil, its neigh­bor to the west—Do­huk—will be the first to see an in­ter­na­tional five-star ho­tel when the Sher­a­ton opens later this spring.

“We be­lieve 100% in Kur­dis­tan devel­op­ment and we are con­vinced this is a key lo­ca­tion to be,” said An­toine Joignant, Sher­a­ton Gen­eral Manager and Area Manager for Cen­tral Asia, Pak­istan, and Iraq. “We are happy to pi­o­neer into a new area. Sher­a­ton is of­ten the first in­ter­na­tional chain to be in a new lo­ca­tion, but this was close to our heart be­cause we have been here be­fore so we wanted to be back.”

The Sher­a­ton Do­huk, which of­fers stunning moun­tain and city views from its po­si­tion on Shan­douka Hill, fea­tures 202 guest rooms, five swim­ming pools, a state-of-the-art health club and spa, two ball­rooms, and a large busi­ness cen­ter with an au­di­to­rium.

“Safety and se­cu­rity is re­ally key for us,” Joignant con­tin­ued. “You’re ex­pected to have good ser­vice, es­pe­cially when you open a Sher­a­ton, but what’s even more ex­pected, par­tic­u­larly in this part of the world, is that guests feel safe and se­cure.”

There were some de­lays in open­ing be­cause the prop­erty, which was orig­i­nally con­structed as a dif­fer­ent ho­tel, did not meet the in­ter­na­tional safety and luxury stan­dards of the Sher­a­ton brand. For in­stance, the ceil­ings had to be com­pletely re­built to in­stall a fire sprin­kler sys­tem in or­der to reach Amer­i­can safety re­quire­ments.

While the com­fort and ameni­ties of the ho­tel will, no doubt, ap­peal to in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers, Joignant hopes the lo­cal com­mu­nity will en­thu­si­as­ti­cally wel­come the ho­tel, par­tic­u­larly through its food and bev­er­age of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing an Ital­ian trat­to­ria, a sea­sonal out­door Le­banese restau­rant, a rooftop bar, a sports pub, and an all-day restau­rant serv­ing in­ter­na­tional cui­sine with Kur­dish in­spi­ra­tion.

“We care very much that the lo­cal com­mu­nity feels that this is their home,” he ex­plained. “We hope the com­mu­nity comes here for im­por­tant life events, like birthdays and wed­dings. This ho­tel will be a land­mark for the city.”

It’s clear many ho­tel chains be­lieve in the devel­op­ment of the re­gion, as ev­i­denced by the build­ing of the Mar­riott, Hil­ton, and Dou­ble­tree ho­tels in the cap­i­tal. Yet, Star­wood Ho­tels, Sher­a­ton’s par­ent com­pany, is lead­ing the way with the open­ing of the Sher­a­ton Do­huk along with plans for four ad­di­tional ho­tels in Er­bil, in­clud­ing an­other Sher­a­ton. How­ever, Sher­a­ton is the only chain with plans for en­ter­ing Do­huk.

“We hope to put Do­huk on the map and we hope to help the city grow,” said Joignant. “The growth of the city is ob­vi­ous and we hope to par­tic­i­pate in this.”

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