By Andy Sambidge
Centara Hotels & Resorts signs agreement for luxury property in Doha; set to open in 2016
Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand's largest hotel operator, has signed an agreement for its first move into the Middle East.
The five-star Centara Grand West Bay Hotel Doha will be operated under a management contract for Al Bandary Hotel Management and is scheduled to open in 2016.
"We are proud to be announcing our move into Qatar, with this beautiful new property in Doha," said Thirayuth Chirathivat, chief executive officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts
"Our brand, with its distinctive Thai identity, is now being accepted by international investors and we are moving into markets that are strategically important for our overseas expansion."
Properties within Centara's five-star Grand brand, in addition to 10 locations within Thailand, can also be found in Bali, Maldives and Mauritius, with further properties underway in Vietnam, Shanghai and Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia.
Overseas properties for other Centara brands are currently located in Vietnam, Bali, Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
"Doha's West Bay is a superb location for a Centara Grand hotel," said Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts.
"This neighbourhood is emerging as a prime business and shopping area, and with Qatar growing as a business and leisure destination we are in a very strong marketing position and can offer our international guests yet another exciting destination."
Centara Grand West Bay Hotel Doha will have 264 guest rooms and 96 residences.
The hotel will also feature four food and beverage outlets with some concepts appearing in Doha for the first time, including a rooftop dining and entertainment venue.
A large multi-level entertainment zone on the 29th and 30th floors will feature a spa and fitness and aerobics centre.