People, Travel

French Group to Open 2 Hotels in Iran

French Group to Open 2 Hotels in IranFrench Group to Open 2 Hotels in Iran

French group AccorHotels announced on Monday it will become the first international hotel group to operate in Iran, as the country opens up to the West following the deal on its nuclear program.

AccorHotels will open an Ibis hotel and a Novotel branch near Tehran’s international airport, AFP reported.

The move comes just two months after the historic nuclear accord that received the backing of the US Congress on Thursday.

The hotel contracts were supposed to be signed on Tuesday by AccorHotels’ CEO Sebastien Bazin with representatives of Iranian company Aria Ziggurat, which owns the buildings.

The hotels are scheduled to open for business on October 15, with a total of nearly 500 rooms.

Aimed at both international and Iranian business travelers, they will be equipped with meeting rooms, conference spaces and spas, fitness suites and swimming pools.

“There is an enormous potential for development of our brands in this country of nearly 80 million inhabitants whose economy is growing fast,” Bazin said in a statement.

AccorHotels is the world’s sixth-largest hotel group.

Accor joins a growing list of international hotels that have either expressed interest in the Iranian market or have already entered it.

The UAE-based Rotana is planning to open a number of hotels in Iran, while another UAE-based hotel chain, Jumeirah Group, as well as Spain’s Melia Hotels International are reportedly preparing to invest in the market.

Peter Blackburn of Crista Hotels in the UAE said in August that the company would be seeking to partner with local firms to expand its portfolio in Iran.