US-based hospitality giant Hilton Worldwide has announced plans to open a 300-room hotel in Erbil, Iraq in 2016. Hilton Erbil Hotel & Spa will be the company’s second venture in the city after the Hilton DoubleTree Suites property opens next year.
“Establishing a strong presence in Kurdistan supports our ambitious strategy to open a further 40 hotels in the Middle East and Africa within the next four years,” said Hilton Worldwide – Middle East & Africa president Rudi Jagersbacher.
Erbil, the relatively stable capital of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, is becoming a popular place for expansion. International hotel chains Best Western and Marriott will both open hotels in 2014, while Starwood’s Sheraton Erbil Hotel is planned for 2015. Middle Eastern airline Emirates also launched a service between Dubai and Erbil this month.
Key emerging markets in the Middle East, south-east Asia and Africa are all seen as lucrative alternatives to traditional BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries. Read more about how the hospitality industry is reacting to global market shifts in the report Hotel Sector Drivers of Change.