Meliá to open first hotel in Iran
Meliá Hotels International (Meliá) has announced its first hotel in Iran, a country that until recently was ‘closed’ to international relations.
The positive news of the lifting of international sanctions was followed a few weeks ago by the signature of an agreement to manage the future Gran Meliá Ghoo, which will also become Iran’s first international five-star hotel.
The project is being developed by Iranian businessman and investor Ahad Azim Zadeh, and is a further step in Meliá’s strategy to grow the presence of its brands in the promising Middle East market, and specifically in an emerging country with major potential such as Iran. The company expects to continue to grow in Tehran and in other high potential destinations around the Caspian Sea, such as Tabriz, Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan.
One of the largest countries in the Middle East, Iran occupies a strategic location connecting Russia and Turkey to the Arab world, as well as being a key hub for transportation between Asia and Europe.
Meliá’s expansion strategy prioritizes entering new emerging markets accompanied by prestigious local partners and investors that know the market and to who it can offer guarantees of excellence, reputation and profitability. The strategy follows the company’s decades-old blueprint when it entered markets such as Indonesia in alliance with major family groups, or Cuba in partnership with the Cuban authorities, partners with which it still maintains close relationships.
Meliá operates two hotels in the Middle East, one in Dubai (Meliá Dubai) and one in Doha (Meliá Doha), and is already preparing five more openings – the Innside Doha, Innside Dubai, Meliá Dubai Residences, ME Dubai, and the newly announced Gran Meliá Ghoo. The Company is also negotiating new hotels in the Gulf region to be managed under the Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá (the fastest growing brand internationally) and Gran Melia brands.
Negotiations for new hotels in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are also advanced, with the company stating that its commitment to the region is based on competitive advantages such as its global leadership in resort hotels and the versatility this has provided to optimise its management of city hotels in ‘bleisure’ (business + leisure) destinations such as Dubai, Doha and many others in the region.