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Sun 23 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Kuwait’s four-hotel plan hits second phase stage

Le Meridien’s expansion in Kuwait continues as the Middle East’s first Art+Tech hotel, Le Meridien Tower Kuwait looks set to open its doors to the public in June

Following the rebranding of Le Meridien Kuwait this year, the hotel group is now set to start the second phase of its four-project expansion in the country with the opening of the 70-room Le Meridien Tower Kuwait at the end of June. The Kuwait project is the result of a newly established relationship with A’Amal Holding Company

The hotel marks the debut of Le Meridien’s Art+Tech design in the region, and forms part of the chain’s development strategy in the country, which will provide around 420 additional rooms in four separate properties by 2006. The contemporary boutique style will be a first for the Middle East, offering a mixture of technology and room designs that fit in with local culture.

“These four projects, which include the refurbishment and rebranding of the former Ritz Hotel will change the face of Kuwait’s hospitality structure,” said Ahmed Al Abdaly, chairman of A’Amal Holding Company.

“In a small but competitive marketplace such as Kuwait, hotel operators have to be nimble enough to identify opportunities and developing districts, while also being flexible enough to follow through and service them properly,” he added.The 70-room, city boutique hotel includes a multi-dining outlet, a café with outdoor terrace, meeting and banqueting facilities, a business centre, health club, sauna and a swimming pool.

The pace of development in Kuwait has accelerated after the end of the conflict in Iraq with several new names entering the market, giving a much needed boost to a once depressed construction industry. As a result, four malls are set to open in the next few months, while the huge redevelopment at Kuwait International Airport is ongoing.

“Kuwait has quietly been establishing itself as a regional tourism centre, pouring money in to landscaping the seafront, new family entertainment centres, shopping malls that are as competitive as any in the area, plus extensive resort facilities,” said Sami Zoghbi, regional managing director of Le Meridien Middle East & West Asia.

A second, 70-unit Art+Tech hotel will open in 2005 in the Mubarakia district and follows on from similar successful projects in Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

“Now, in conjunction with the A’amal Holding Company, we will launch this innovative look in to the Middle East market for the very first time in what is probably one of the most exciting hospitality development schemes in Kuwait,” said Hannes Yaghi, general manager of the hotel.

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