By Shane McGinley
Strata will be on the 55th and 56th floors of the new InterContinental Doha The City hotel
When the Strata lounge and restaurant opens next month at the InterContinental Doha The City hotel it will be crowned the highest hospitality venue in the Qatari capital, it was announced on Wednesday.
Located on the 55 and 56 levels of the hotel’s West Bay tower, Strata will offer panoramic views across the city and will be Doha’s highest restaurant or lounge.
The InterContinental Doha The City is set to open to the public later this month and, in addition to Strata, there will be five restaurants and two lounge areas.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will open eight new hotels across six Middle East countries during 2012, the firm’s chief operating officer for India, Middle East and Africa has said.
New launches are planned for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Bahrain, John Bamsey told Hotelier Middle East last month.
“We have several openings due across six countries in the Middle East,” said Bamsey. “For example we’ll be expanding our presence in Qatar with InterContinental Doha The City and Crowne Plaza Doha The Business Park.
“In Saudi Arabia we will open two new hotels including our first Crowne Plaza in Medinah and our sixth hotel in Riyadh (Holiday Inn Riyadh Meydan) and in Jordan we are due to open the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea Resort,” he said.
The expansion will also include the introduction of some of IHG’s brands to new markets.
The InterContinental brand will debut in Kuwait, the Staybridge Suites brand in Lebanon and the Holiday Inn Express brand in Bahrain and India.
He said portfolio growth was a priority for 2012.
“We will continue to focus on growth – increasing the number of hotels that our guests can choose from and introducing new brands to our markets. We currently operate across ten countries in the Middle East and assess each development opportunity as they arrive,” said Bamsey.
He said in the short term the impact of the Arab Spring and instability in some markets was increasing IHG's focus on Saudi Arabia and emerging markets like India and African countries.
Early in 2012 IHG is set to announce the first Hotel Indigo due to open in the Middle East.
“Overall we have nearly 100 hotels in our development pipeline across India, Middle East and Africa due to open in the next three to five years,” Bamsey said.