Baghdad is expected during the first quarter of this year to start the construction of its $150 million tourist hotel and mall project in Baghdad's al-Harthiya area, after contracting UAE's Beltech to build the hotel, a senior official source at the Ministry of Industry told Zawya.
"We are now in the negotiation stage as there is joint cooperation between engineers from our company, engineers from the Arab Republic of Egypt and others from Beltech, to develop the basic designs for the construction of two hotel towers, a shopping mall, restaurants, casinos and parking lots," said Majed Merza al-Jaf, the director general of Al-Radwan state company, a subsidiary of the Iraqi ministry of industry and minerals.
"The project is expected to be completed within 4 years maximum at a total cost of approximately USD 150 million," said Merza.
He explains that the hotels architecture will be inspired by the circular shape of the ancient city of Baghdad and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which were taken into account in the hotels master plan, which consists of 43 floors. The last three floors will include four movie theaters.
"The tourist infrastructure in Iraq is totally dilapidated, while the country is witnessing a boom in tourists, especially from religious tourist and Baghdad alone needs to build around 100 hotels to be able to accommodate this inflow. The construction of a tourist hotel is a step towards the right direction, where," said Dr. Dergham Mohammed, an senior Iraqi economic expert.