Shaza Hotels, a regional hospitality brand, yesterday announced the signing of a major land purchase deal in the region worth $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) for the development of signature hotel properties, which it will manage and own.
It aims to operate about 30 luxury five-star hotels in the region by 2016.
The hotel brand will develop properties in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat and Cairo.
Construction has begun in one property in Dubai and talks are under way to open two more in the emirate.
The Shaza property in Cairo will be located by the Nile with investments worth $210m, the hotel will contain 350 rooms on a 72,000-square metre land. The property will be named Shaza Nile Douma Hotel and will have 70 to 90 high-end residential apartments.
In Marrakech, the property investment figure will reach $90m and consist of a key property located in an upscale district of the city. Another property called the Shaza Manama Hotel will have an area of 43,000-square metres with an estimated investment figure of $90m. The property will contain 285 rooms and be located in Bahrain Bay.
The hotel will be part of the $2.5bn landmark waterfront project located in Manama, which also includes real estate, retail and commercial developments.
CEO Michel Novatin told Emirates Business: "We are trying to reinvent the hotel concept by offering things no one has ever done before, we are creating a purely eastern hotel experience and we have done a lot of research into the different facilities and services we can offer.
"It is not just about having themed restaurants or interior decorating, but it's about the spirit of the place and the comforts we offer," he said.
Chairman Mohammed Hammour said: "These developments will reflect the culture, history and hospitality of the region. We wanted something remarkable. We also wanted it to reflect the tradition of the region. Shaza Hotels investment in key gateway cities of Cairo, Bahrain and Marrakech demonstrate the company's commitment to the region and our belief in the on-going strength of the expanding tourism sector."
Not serving alcoholic beverages will not affect the profit of these hotels, said Chris Hartley, CEO of Global Hotel Alliance. "The profits we are not able to make from restaurants, which anyway is relatively low overall, we can make from non-alcoholic beverages. We are successfully forging ahead with our ambitious development plans and will continue to extend our regional footprint, with aspirations to eventually spread the Shaza brand worldwide," he added.