Saudi businessman opens Dhs 200 million Holiday Inn Hotel in Dubai

A day after the September 11 attacks on the US, Saudi businessman, Abdul Aziz Al Shiha, opened the Holiday Inn Hotel in Bur Dubai after investing Dhs 200 million.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  October 28, 2001

A day after the September 11 attacks on the US, Saudi businessman, Abdul Aziz Al Shiha, opened the Holiday Inn Hotel in Bur Dubai after investing Dhs 200 million. A month and half later, at the formal inauguration of the hotel, the businessman voiced his confidence in the UAE economy and the growing hospitality industry.

“I am proud to introduce Holiday Inn Bur Dubai in which I have been investing a great deal of effort, time and capital for the past two and a half years. For such a project, I selected Dubai that has proven over the years to be a viable, attractive, and progressive economic center in the region,” said Al Shiha, who is chairman of the new hotel.

At a time of global economic uncertainty, and a crisis in the aviation and tourism industries sentiment was positive at the inauguration. While the hotel has only 120 guests well below its 232-room capacity, Robert Rosetti, the general manager, echoed the business as usual message the government of Dubai is promoting. “It is true that visitors to Dubai have slowed down, but I still believe it has nothing to with the issue of destination. Visitors are coming for leisure and pleasure rather than business,” said Rosetti. “During Gitex all the hotels were full and Dubai has always been progressive and resilient,” he added. Al Shiha added, that tourism within a year’s time would return to what it was and even better. The Saudi businessman said that while this was his only hotel outside Saudi Arabia, he did not have any plans for future investments.

The 5-star hotel, which has won an international award for excellence in Engineering by American Microstation Manager hopes to breakeven between 5-10 years from now, and the plan is to participate in the promotion of interregional tourism, according to Rosetti.

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