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Tue 3 Apr 2012 06:27 PM

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UAE's Rotana puts three Syrian hotels on hold

No timeline for when the hotel projects will be back on track, says COO Omer Kaddouri

UAE's Rotana puts three Syrian hotels on hold
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

UAE-based hotel firm Rotana has suspended construction of three hotels in Syria as violence and political unrest inside the country worsens.

According to the company’s website, two of the properties - the Gardenia Rotana in Homs and the Yasmeen Rotana in Damascus were scheduled to open next year.

But Omer Kaddouri, COO of Rotana said there is no timeline for when the projects will be back on track.

“Syria remains completely out of our hands in terms of how things go there. It’s all on hold until further notice, and we’ve got to see the situation stabilise before any projections can be made,” he said in comments published by Hotelier Middle East.

Rotana already operates two hotels in Syria where business is suffering due to the current situation, with the Afamia Rotana Resort in Latakia seeing occupancies of just 15%, and Rotana’s Damascus hotel receiving occupancies of 30% down from 90%.

“A lot of our staff have been transferred out of Syria to some of our properties around the MENA region. But now there are very heavy visa restrictions for Syrians around the GCC,” added Kaddouri.

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