ASIA – International hotel operator AccorHotels hassigned a management agreement with Aria Ziggurat, a subsidiary of Iran’s SEMEGA (Cultural Heritage and Tourism Investment) group for two inaugural hotel properties in Tehran set to open next month.
The new hotels – Novotel IKIA and ibis IKIA – are connected to the main terminal of Imam Khomeini International Airport.
AccorHotels is the first international hotel group to launch its brands in Iran and the move is seen as another sign in thawing diplomatic and business relations between the Islamic state and the West.
Sébastien Bazin, AccorHotels’ chairman and CEO, said at a press conference in Tehran, 15 September: “We are very excited about signing this partnership with Aria Ziggurat in Iran. We are certain that Novotel and ibis will fit perfectly into the growth momentum that Iran’s hospitality sector is enjoying.
“Our brands are looking at huge growth potential in this country, which is home to almost 80m people and is expanding its economy. Our ambition is to develop an important network in the country thanks to our global portfolio of brands covering all segments, from luxury to midscale and economy.”
Dr Mehdi Jahangiri, Aria Ziggurat’s chairman, added: “We believe the expertise of international hospitality groups will upgrade local standards and existing levels of service in our hotels, and ultimately add value to our business. This important agreement with AccorHotels for the management of Novotel and ibis IKIA hotels in Tehran is a prosperous beginning that defines our new offer of hotel service along with an Iranian taste of hospitality and rich culture to our valued customers, partners and employees.”
Aria Ziggurat, SEMEGA, Tourism Bank and 37 other sister companies are all members of Tourism Financial Group, a leading holding company in Iran with 4,100 staff.
The almost 500-room cluster of hotels encompass a midscale hotel – Novotel IKIA (296 rooms) – and an economy hotel – ibis IKIA (196 rooms).
Imam Khomeini International Airport is a 45-minute drive from downtown Tehran.
The hotels will have large meeting rooms and convention facilities.
AccorHotels currently manages 71 hotels (17,300 rooms) in the Middle East.