Yangon’s Vietnamese development lands Melia hotel

Spanish hotel chain Melia Hotels International signed a deal yesterday that will place a five-star Melia brand hotel at a prominent Vietnamese-owned development.

The Melia Hotel Yangon will be part of the mixed-use Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Myanmar Centre next to the Sedona Hotel near Inya Lake.

HAGL Group chief executive Vo Thuong Son said the hotel itself will be owned by the Vietnamese firm, but managed by Melia Hotels International.

“We believe that with wide knowledge and experience in hotel and tourism service management worldwide, Melia will be able to help our hotel operate efficiently and bring high values to customers,” he said yesterday.

HAGL is one of Vietnam’s largest companies. Founded in 1993, it has recently focused on agriculture and property development, with a number of regional businesses.

HAGL Group began work on its US$440 million Yangon project in June 2013, after signing a long-term build-operate-transfer agreement with the Ministry of Tourism in 2012. The first phase will include a 27-storey commercial centre, two office towers and a 23-storey hotel, with work to be finished this year.

The second phase will be largely completed in 2016, including four residential blocks with 1800 apartments and an office tower.

Earlier this year, Rowsley, a Singaporean firm, signed an agreement to purchase a 50 percent stake in the HAGL Myanmar Centre for $275 million. In early April, Rowsley walked away from the deal, claiming an agreement could not be reached over the details of the investment structure.

Work is continuing on the development, with tenants slated to move in within months.

Cao Duy Thinh, managing director of HAGL Group Myanmar, said the entire phase 1, including the 429-room Melia Yangon Hotel, will open in September, though the two office towers could open sooner.

Work on the second phase will start in May or June, with “the whole project fully completed by 2017,” he told The Myanmar Times.

Minister of Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung said tourism has become one of the main sectors driving the country’s economy .

“Melia Yangon is joining with existing international hotels chains like Kempinski, Hilton, Accor, Wyndham, Pan Pacific, [by operating] in Myanmar,” he said. “As our tourism sector progresses on track, Melia will support the shortages of hotel rooms for the rising number of tourist arrivals to the country.”

Melia was founded in 1956 in Spain, operating more than 370 hotels around the world.

Its senior vice president for Asia Pacific Region Bernardo Cabot said Melia Yangon will become the first “urban leisure” hotel in Myanmar.

“We arrive in Myanmar aware that this country has the potential to become one of the most admired and competitive tourist destinations worldwide,” he said.

“The Melia brand is our most international brand and it suited perfectly the HAGL project in Yangon, where it will offer a perfect blend of business and leisure offering. An extraordinary project with an extraordinary brand which will further increase the prestige of Yangon as a destination.”

Source: Myanmar Times

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