By Devina Divecha
Melia Hotels International has signed a Gran Melia Hotel in Iran alongside an Iranian industrial and developer group
Meliá Hotels International has entered the Iranian market with the five-star branded Gran Meliá Ghoo Hotel.
The property will be located in the largest mixed residential, commercial and hotel complex to be developed in Iran, which is currently being built in Salman Shahr, a holiday destination on the Caspian Sea.
The hotel is part of the "Ghoo, Middle East Diamond" development being built by Iranian businessman and investor Ahad Azimzadeh in Salman Shahr (Mazandaran Province), in the north of the country.
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 180,000m².
Gran Meliá Ghoo will occupy a 130-metre high tower, with 319 deluxe rooms of different types including a Presidential Suite measuring more than 500m². The hotel will offer seven restaurants and bars, over 1,300 m² of meeting and banquet facilities, two swimming pools, a spa, and leisure and shopping facilities.
Meliá Hotels International vice chairman and CEO Gabriel Escarrer said in a statement that the hotel is an important milestone for the Gran Meliá brand and for the company.
He said: "We have always been pioneers in the development of new markets in the travel and tourism industry, so it is a great 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.
"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."
Ahad Azimzadeh, CEO of Azimzadeh Carpet and main investor and developer of Ghoo, Middle East Diamond, said: "This is a historical moment for Iran's tourism, and we are pleased to be a key part of it. Tourism brings social and economic development to a community, as well as people and cultures. Ghoo, Middle East Diamond will mark a turning point in tourism in Iran and the modern and avant-garde hotel and resort's sector."
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.