PALMA DE MALLORCA—Meliá Hotels International has announced its entry into the Iranian market with the first five-star branded hotel, which will be managed by an international hotel company, Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel. The property will be located in the largest mixed residential, commercial, and hotel complex to be developed in Iran, which is currently being built in Salman Shahr, a popular holiday destination on the Caspian Sea. The Spanish hotel chain takes an important step in becoming one of the leading international hotel groups in Iran, a country which expects to see significant tourism development after the lifting of sanctions that have restricted foreign investment since 2006. Iran expects to attract more than 20 million visitors per year by 2025, compared to the current 5 million.
The hotel is part of the “Ghoo, Middle East Diamond” development being built by the Iranian businessman and investor Ahad Azimzadeh in Salman Shahr (Mazandaran Province), in the north of the country, which is a year-round business and holiday destination. In addition to the hotel, the resort will also feature two residential towers, a sports centre, parking and a retail mall–which is already open to the public.
Gran Meliá Ghoo will occupy a 425-square-foot tower, boasting 319 deluxe rooms of different types including a presidential suite, measuring more than 5,000 square feet. The hotel will provide all of the luxury services and facilities expected of a five-star hotel, with seven restaurants and bars, over 14,000 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities, two swimming pools, a spa, and diverse leisure and shopping facilities.
Gabriel Escarrer, vice chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, stated that the hotel is an important milestone for the Gran Meliá brand and for the company: “We have always been pioneers in the development of new markets in the travel and tourism industry, so it is a great challenge for us to be involved in a project, which is so important for the future of the industry in this country, in a historic moment for the international relations within the area. We firmly believe in Iran’s tourism potential and I am also very proud to have earned the trust of our partners in the management of this hotel, a further demonstration that we are a significant international player for the most prestigious hotel projects anywhere in the world.”
Ahad Azimzadeh, CEO of Azimzadeh Carpet and main investor and developer of the “Ghoo, Middle East Diamond,” said: “This is a historical moment for Iran’s tourism, and we are pleased to be a key part of it. Tourism brings social and economic development to a community, as well as people and cultures. “Ghoo, Middle East Diamond” will mark a turning point in tourism in Iran and the modern and avant-garde hotel and resort’s sector.”