Meliá Hotels International has announced its entry into the Iranian market with the first five-star branded hotel to be managed by an international hotel company, the Gran Melia Ghoo Hotel, located 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.
The Spanish hotel chain thus takes an important step to 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.
The hotel is part of the ‘Ghoo, Middle East Diamond’ stunning development being built by the Iranian businessman and investor Ahad Azim Zadeh in Salman Shahr (Mazandaran Province), in the north of the country, both a business and holiday destination to travel to every month of the year. 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 – all within an area of 180,000 square metres.
The Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel will occupy a 130-metre high tower and will provide 319 deluxe rooms of different types, one of them a Presidential Suite measuring more than 500 square metres. 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 metres of meeting and banquet facilities, two swimming pools, a spa, and diverse leisure and shopping facilities.
Tourism is undoubtedly one of the industries with the most promising growth prospects in Iran. The country 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 kilometres of new railway lines every year as well as new highways.