AFRICANGLOBE – Addis Ababa is to get another world class hospitality image before the end of the year when the AU Grand Hotel managed by Westin Hotels and Resorts inaugurates its seven star hotel in the African Union (AU) compound. The multibillion birr investment owned by the billionaire Sheik Mohamed Hussein al Amoudi will be inaugurated before the coming European Christmas, according to an insider source.
MIDROC Ethiopia Project Office Contracting and Management Services Plc. (MEPO), which is a collaborative partner of the MIDROC Group that develops, constructs and manages property, undertakes the construction of the hotel which is in its final stages. A two year prior cost estimation of the seven star hotel was USD 350 million. “The project cost can jump by more than 20 percent by completion of the work than the previous estimate,” the source added.
The hotel that will be the fourth international brand in the country after Hilton, Sheraton and Radisson Blu will also have several extraordinary facilities that shall serve heads of states and top officials. “The project will be one of the top investments for the billionaire in Ethiopia,” according to sources at MIDROC.
On his initial investment in Ethiopia, Sheik Mohamed had established the five star luxury collection hotel Sheraton Addis at a cost of over USD 200 million. It is now approaching a two decades service mark. Until now, no other similar facility was erected in the capital or elsewhere in the country. MIDROC has been negotiating with one of the prominent hotel chains in the world, Westin Hotels and Resorts, to lease out the management of the new hotel. Westin is part of the Starwood’s Hotels and Resorts chain. It was acquired by Starwood in 1994.
Especially in the last decade, Westin has focused on expanding globally and since 2005 its number of hotels has grown from 120 in 24 countries to over 192 in 37 countries by 2013. Sources say that Sheik Mohamed had got the contractor replace the cladding recently to stay in tip-top shape with the Westin brand. Installation of the polarized glass has also commenced.
Sources also said that the billionaire has ordered MEPO, which congregates professionals from different countries, to finalize the project before the end of 2015.