People, Travel

UAE Hotel Has Iran Plan

UAE Hotel Has Iran Plan UAE Hotel Has Iran Plan

Dubai-based Shaza Hotel, an affiliate of the prestigious Kempinski Hotel chain, is exploring the possibility of opening five hotels in Iran.

Although there is no precise date of entry available yet, “we’re targeting entry within the next five years,” Ziad Abi Raad, the firm’s development manager, told the Financial Tribune.

They are planning to open hotels in Tehran, Isfahan, Rasht, Mashhad and Qom; destinations that host different types of travelers, from leisure tourists to pilgrims.

There are just over 130 four- and five-star lodging facilities in Iran, and officials are aiming for 400 by 2025 to accommodate 20 million annual visitors a year, which is the tourism authorities’ stated goal.

Shaza is following in the footsteps of Rotana Hotels, another UAE-based group, which reportedly is opening four Rayhaan hotels — a brand aimed at Muslim travelers — in Tehran and Mashhad by 2018.

Mashhad, in northeast Khorassan Razavi Province, is home to the mausoleum of Imam Reza (PBUH), the eighth imam of Shia Muslims. The second most populous city, it is Iran’s top destination for religious tourists and attracts 25 million domestic and foreign tourists throughout the year.

Furthermore, Crista Hotels and Jumeirah Group, both of which are based in the UAE, are reportedly preparing to invest in Iran.