January 2016

Four new five-star hotels to open in Amman, Aqaba by 2016

Four new five-star hotels in Amman and Aqaba, which are scheduled to be operational by early 2016, will create about 1,800 jobs, according to a leading hotelier.

The four hotels will have about 1,000 rooms, Michael Wale, president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

He noted that two of the hotels are located in the capital and the other two are in the port city of Aqaba, some 330km south of the capital.

"There is great potential for the hospitality sector in Jordan, which proved to be resilient in the face of challenges and difficulties the region is going through, and the opening of the four new hotels is testimony to a rising interest by tourists in Jordan's tourism attractions," Wale said.

The hotels, which are currently under construction, include The St Regis Amman that will feature two 16-storey towers and 260 guest rooms and suites; the W Amman Hotel located in Al Abdali area; the Westin Saraya Aqaba; and Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Aqaba featuring 200 rooms, including 31 suites, according to the hotelier.

"There is a significant rise in [the] number of tourists coming from East Asia to countries in the region, including Jordan, which is a reason why we believe that Jordan enjoys great potential for attracting more tourists due to its stability and the availability of many tourism attractions, including Petra and the Dead Sea" Wale said.

Although the region is going through difficult times at present, the situation is temporary and tourism will flourish soon in the area, especially in the Kingdom, he added.

"We believe that Jordan has many interesting destinations that are attractive to tourists from all over the world, and expectations for the hospitality sector in the country are high."

Commending the quality of human resources in the Kingdom's hospitality sector, Wale said the majority of those employed at the hotels are Jordanians.
"There are well-skilled human resources in the hospitality sector and this is very crucial to its development," he added.