Wyndham Hotel Group today announced plans for two new hotels in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, in a deal announced with Bukhamseen Group For Real Estate, Tourism, General Trading & Contracting Company. Located just 800m from the Imam Ali Holy Shrine, the third holiest site for the estimated 200 million followers of the Shia branch of Islam, the co-located Ramada Plaza Najaf and Ramada Hotel & Suites Najaf will cater to the needs of the booming religious tourism industry in the city. The new four-star hotels will join the existing Ramada Sulaymaniyah to become the second and third Wyndham Hotel Group properties in Iraq.
Millions of pilgrims visit the Imam Ali Holy Shrine each year, with numbers expected to surge further when the expansion of the nearby Al Najaf International Airport is complete. Dan Ruff, Wyndham Hotel Group’s president and managing director for EMEA, added: “Najaf is a thriving holy city, with thousands of Shia Muslims from Iran and other areas of the region making the pilgrimage to the Imam Ali every week. This growing number of visitors seeks the quality accommodation which we offer under the umbrella of our Ramada brand, as well as the convenience of being located just 800m down the road from the sacred site. The significant number of jobs these openings will create for local people will help to boost the city’s growing tourism industry even further.”
Located on Kahrabba Street, the Ramada Plaza Najaf will boast 225 rooms including 20 suites to suit differing needs and budgets of visitors. Multiple meeting rooms including an 800sqm banquet room can accommodate business or special occasion functions. Guests can enjoy the luxury of leisure facilities, including both indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness room and spa, before relaxing and dining in a choice of two restaurants or an additional lounge.
Connected to the Ramada Plaza, the Ramada Hotel & Suites Najaf offers flexible accommodation in the form of 149 studios and 91 high-end one-bed apartments, providing an ideal space for families and groups. Guests can make use of the leisure facilities at the Ramada Plaza next door, as well as additional meeting space, restaurant and lounge. Both properties are expected to open their doors by mid-2018, creating an impressive 465 jobs for local workers and helping to boost the growing local economy.
Developer Emad Bukhamseen added, “The signing of this deal with Wyndham Hotel Group will allow us to fill a real gap in the market in Najaf. The global reputation the Ramada brand enjoys is one of quality and reassurance for the traveller, so it’s a solid addition to our portfolio.” Emad Bukhamseen also added that, “Environmentally-friendly building materials were used to suit the local conditions, solar power technology will be used whenever appropriate and most of the hot water for the property shall be generated by a solar system. This multi-use complex also hosts a commercial centre with a rentable area of 14,000 sq.m. to enhance the experience of the hotel guests as well as the local business community.”