Raihan M Chowdhury
Three more five-star hotels, being constructed at an estimated cost of US$ 400 million, are expected to start operation in Dhaka by the end of 2006.
Of them, Westin Dhaka and Radisson Water Garden have completed the civil constructions and are likely to be commissioned within a few months.
The other - Intercontinental Dhaka - being built near Zia International Airport, will be opened by the end of next year.
The international standard hotels will generate substantial quality employment and training opportunities, as well as significant foreign exchange earnings for the country.
IPCO Hotels Ltd, a subsidiary of Bengal Group, is the developer and lessee of Intercontinental Dhaka, a 400-room international brand hotel.
"We are also constructing a three-star hotel -- Holiday Inn Dhaka -- at the same venue," a source with the IPCO told this correspondent Monday.
There will be 300 rooms in the Holiday Inn.
State-owned Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) is the lessor of both the hotels under a 60-year leasing contract with the IPCO.
The total project cost of Intercontinental Dhaka and Holiday Inn is estimated at $ 330 million, including the value of land.
Construction of both the hotels covering a 144-acre land began in the middle of last year.
Managing Director, Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) Asia Pacific, Patrick Imbardelli said the group is proud to have the opportunity to play a role in Bangladesh's corporate and leisure/travel industry with one of the country's leading entrepreneurs.
"With the emergence of Dhaka's Economic Development Zone to become a key investment hub, the continued development of the Bangladesh economy and growth of tourism to Bangladesh, both business travellers and holiday makers visiting the city can look forward to high hospitality standards that have become synonymous with IHG portfolio of leading hotel brands," Patrick said in an IPCO publication.
IPCO have a long term build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement with the owners of the land --CAAB. A pool of foreign consultants has been appointed to design and build the project to the highest international standards.
IHG has already signed two management agreements with IPCO Developments (Bangladesh) Ltd.
Unique Group is the prime sponsor of $36 million project of Westin, the 25-storied hotel located at city's Gulshan area.
The 250-room Westin Dhaka's construction began in late 2000 and is partially financed by IPDC, a leading non-banking financial institution of Bangladesh.
Starwood Hotels and Resort Worldwide Inc of USA provided the equity, technical and management support to the hotel.
The 214-room Radisson Water Garden located at the airport road besides the Cantonment Railway Station was initially planned to be a 4-star but later it was elevated 5-star hotel.
The Tk 1.0 billion project of Sena Hotel Developments Ltd (SHDL) was taken in 1995 and got the approval from army authority in mid-2000.
SHDL has already appointed Cairncross Martin Pty Ltd of Australia as consultant for procurement of hotel operating services and some other equipment.
Andreas Wiel has recently joined Radisson as its Executive Chef. He began his career in the 80's under luxury hotelier Thomas H. Althoff at Hotel Regent International in Cologne, Germany.
The hotel is going to be managed by Radisson Hotels and Resorts of USA. It is part of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, a Minneapolis-based global leader in hospitality services encompassing more than 1635 hotels, resort, restaurant and cruise ship operations in 82 countries.
Singapore-based Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific is the regional headquarters for the global hotel.
At present the country has two five star hotels -- Pan Pacific Sonargaon and Dhaka Sheraton.
Sonargaon began operation in late 80's while the Sheraton, once Hotel Intercontinental, started its business in 1966.
The name was changed in 1984 with signing of a 20-year agreement between the Bangladesh government and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc of USA.
Of late the agreement was renewed for five years with the expiry of the previous agreement on December 31, 2003.
Meanwhile, a three-star hotel -- Lake Shore -- at Gulshan began its operation early this year.
Established with the financial assistance worth Tk 70 million from National Bank of Pakistan, Lake Shore has already entertained a good number of foreign tourists.
Source : Financial Express