Meliá Hotels International has announced its entry into the Iranian market with the Gran Melia Ghoo Hotel. Developed by Iranian businessmen and investor, Ahad Azim Zadeh, the hotel will be situated in the largest mixed residential, commercial and hotel complex to be developed in Iran – currently being built in Salman Shahr, a popular holiday destination on the Caspian Sea.
Referred to as the "Ghoo Middle East Diamond", this new development is set to be a year-round business and holiday destination, featuring two residential towers, a sports center, parking and a retail mall – all within an area of 180,000 square meters.
The Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel itself will occupy a 130-metre high tower, with 319 deluxe rooms of different types, including a Presidential Suite measuring more than 500 square meters. The hotel will provide all of the luxury services and facilities expected of a five-star hotel, including seven restaurants and bars, over 1,300 square meters of meeting and banquet facilities, two swimming pools, a spa, and diverse leisure and shopping facilities.
"we have always been pioneers in the development of new markets in the travel and tourism industry, so it is a fantastic 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," says Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International.
"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."
One of the largest countries in the Middle East, Iran has a strategic position connecting Russia and Turkey to the Arab world, as well as being a key hub for transportation between Asia and Europe. Iran has one of the top 20 largest economies in the world, and the lifting of sanctions will now open up a new phase for foreign investment, for which the Iranian government is already implementing strategies to accelerate the development of key sectors, especially oil and gas, technology, and tourism.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Iran will grow by almost 4% as an immediate result of the foreign investment the country will receive after the lifting of sanctions. Tourism is undoubtedly one of the industries with the most promising growth prospects.
Iran expects to attract more than 20 million passengers a year by 2025, compared to the current 5 million. This will require the development of additional transport infrastructure and hotel capacity, estimated at at least 150 hotels to cater to the increased demand. The government has recently revealed its intention to acquire up to 160 Airbus jets to add to the Iran Air fleet, and to build more than 500 kilometers of new railway lines every year as well as new highways.