InterContinental Hotels Group signs up two new hotels at Jordan Dead Sea

InterContinental Hotels Group is to manage two new properties in Jordan: the new Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels at the Dead Sea.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  September 5, 2005

InterContinental Hotels Group is to manage two new properties in Jordan: the new Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels at the Dead Sea. The hotel operator has signed a management contract with Jordan’s Social Security Corporation for the 420-room Crowne Plaza and 202-room Holiday Inn, increasing the company’s portfolio to eight properties in the Kingdom. The two hotels are scheduled to open their doors in 2007: tentative dates are for the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea hotel to start operating in September 2007 and Holiday Inn Dead Sea in April 2007. “The presence of these two brands on the Dead Sea will complement the spread of the Group’s existing brands in the locations of Amman, Aqaba and Petra and increase the total number of the Group’s rooms to over 2000, making InterContinental Hotels Group the biggest provider of accommodation on the Dead Sea coast,” Mark Timbrell, director of sales and marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jordan and Palestine, told Hotelier Middle East. “The agreement means that we will be able to provide an even greater choice of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes in Jordan and we are committed to using our global network of hotels and reservations offices to reinforce efforts to promote Jordan as a unique travel destination,” added Chris Moloney, chief operating officer, InterContinental Hotels Group, Middle East & Africa. The Crowne Plaza will be built on a 70,000m² site and will offer meeting and conference rooms, ballroom and meetings rooms, swimming pool, health spa, restaurants, tennis courts and playgrounds for children. The Holiday Inn is to be built on a 41,000m² site and will consist of 74 rooms, 128 chalets, meetings rooms, various restaurants, a health spa, swimming pools and playing fields for children. The approximate total cost for each property is US $45 million for the Crowne Plaza Hotel and US $32 million for the Holiday Inn. “The main markets anticipated are the health and spa tourism segment, particularly strong out of North and East Europe. Additionally, the Dead Sea is a favourite stop off point for tours discovering the history and archaeology of Jordan. Due to the presence of the King Hussein Convention Centre, convention business is surely going to be a feature,” Timbrell said. Environmentalists have stated that the Dead Sea is slowly disappearing. The World Economic Forum held in Jordan in June discussed constructing a 320km-long canal or pipeline from the Gulf of Aqaba at the Red Sea to feed water into the Dead Sea. Already, hotel companies such as InterContinental are taking this into consideration when planning projects. “Hotel developers in Jordan are being advised to construct above a certain level as warnings have been issued regarding the possibility of the coastal areas being covered in water by the year 2025,” said Timbrell. “The prospect of the Dead Sea 'disappearing' is, without a doubt, a global concern and one that is being addressed by government officials, local authorities, investors and environmental bodies.”

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