Gulf News

Coral enters Syria with Alleppo hotel contract

UAE-based contract in talks to manage Damascus property “We have taken our first steps and expect the rewards to be worthwhile.”

- BY SHAKIR HUSAIN Staff Reporter

UAE-based Coral Internatio­nal Hotels, Resorts & Spas has signed its first contract for a five-star boutique property in Syria and is looking for new hotels in the country.

The 60-room hotel will be located in Aleppo, the second largest Syrian city and a major tourist destinatio­n.

Coral managing director Michel Noblet said the company is also discussing another contract to manage a five-star hotel in Damascus.

Syria has witnessed a significan­t increase in tourist arrivals, but suffers from a

Managing director of Coral shortage of quality hotels. Noblet said his company is entering the market to benefit from the growth potential. “Syria is one of Middle East’s top-performing tourism destinatio­ns. We have taken our first steps and expect the rewards to be worthwhile,” he said, adding that Coral is pursuing more opportunit­ies in the country.

According to Noblet, visitor arrivals into Syria increased to 3.4 million last year from 2.1 million as the country was becoming more popular as a tourist destinatio­n.

Options

Khaldoun Makhlouf, chairman of Julia Dumna, the company that is building the Dh55-million Coral Boutique Aleppo, said Syria needs more hotels if it wants to sustain the tourism growth.

“We certainly have a lack of accommodat­ion options and need more hotels if we are to continue enjoying a 15 per cent growth rate per year,” he said in Dubai yesterday.

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