Al Sawari to build twin-hotel complex near Taj Mahal
June 05 2016 09:37 PM
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HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani exchanges the agreement with Vivek Nair as Amruda Nair and Mohamed Shafiek look on.

By Santhosh V. Perumal/Business Reporter

Al Sawari Holding, part of Sheikh Faisal’s business empire, is foraying into India's hospitality sector by acquiring seven acres of land near the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra from the Leela group and will construct a twin-hotel complex at an estimated cost of Rs5bn.
Al Sawari India will be the owner of the property, which is a 100% foreign direct investment from Qatar. It was formalised on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar.
An agreement to this effect was signed by HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, chairman of Al Sawari Holding and Vivek Nair, chairman and managing director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.
Al Sawari Holding has also entered into a management agreement with the Leela Group to operate a 100-room upmarket Leela Palace Hotel on this site.
Another management agreement was signed with Aiana Hotels and Resorts, a global hotel management company to operate a 150-room entry level five-star Aiana Hotel on the same plot.
Construction is expected to commence soon and will be completed within 36 months, said Amruda Nair, joint managing director and chief executive of Aiana Hotel, which is already constructing a four-start hotel in Doha to be inaugurated by the first quarter of 2017.
Aiana Hotels and Resorts is an equal joint venture between Amruda and Sheikh Faisal.
"We are delighted to enter into these landmark agreements with The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts and Aiana Hotels and Resorts during the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Qatar. We are confident that Al Sawari Holding’s foray into the Indian hospitality industry will further enhance the economic and culture relations between the two countries,” Sheikh Faisal said.
The two new hotels will offer a host of signature restaurants and lounges along with spacious banquet halls and state-of-the-art health centres and spas. Both hotels will cater to the upmarket leisure tourists and the MICE segment.
“These agreements are the first of many that we as a group plan to enter into in India. We firmly believe in the potential of the Indian market and will continue to seek growth opportunities to create value and expand our portfolio in India,” Mohamed Shafiek, managing director, Al Sawari Holding, said.
The proposed Palace hotel would combine unparalleled views of the Taj Mahal with a truly luxurious hospitality experience in Agra, Vivek Nair.
"We are also looking forward to further strengthening our presence within the golden triangle by adding a Palace hotel in Jaipur and will continue our efforts to expand in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer,” according to him.
Amruda Nair said Aiana Hotel's next focus will be to complete the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and further enhance its existing developments.
Sheikh Faisal is supportive of the (Aiana) brand and it will continue to look for investment in India, Europe and Maldives, she said.
"We want to bring Aiana as a new lifestyle hotel brand to the Middle East and will continue to support Aiana through our ambitious expansion plans for acquisitions in key destinations starting with the property in Doha with many more to follow in Western Europe (London) and the US," Sheikh Faisal had said at the launch of Aiana Hotels.

Last updated: June 06 2016 08:48 PM


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