Kigali’s skyline is set for a new addition with the construction of Marriott Hotel Kigali set for completion next year.
The US$60m edifice is owned by New Century Development Ltd.
Speaking to The New Times, Marriott International vice president of Sales and Marketing, Jeff Strachan, said the chain has a straight forward management agreement with the owners to run the facility under the Marriott name.
To attract local clientele, Strachan said they intend to have subsidised prices.
“We have been working with New Century Development Ltd since 2009 with a plan of coming up with a world class hotel. However, we don’t want Rwandans to look at this as a place for foreigners only; that is why we are planning to have subsidised prices to attract the local middle class.”
Once opened, Marriott Hotel Kigali will be the biggest in the country with 250 rooms.
“In September, we will take our first fifteen Rwandan staff for training in Dubai, Doha and Kuwait; they will be the ones to lead the operations.”
Marriot is one of the oldest hotel chains in the world with over 3500 hotels worldwide.
The group announced that it was compelled to enter the Rwandan market because the country is well on its way to becoming a service, transportation and logistics hub for the Central African region.
“Rwanda in recent years has successfully established itself as an international conference destination and its tea, coffee, fruit and flowers have become highly-regarded exports. Its wealth of wildlife, flora and fauna, especially its gorilla population, are giving rise to its eco-tourism industry,” a statement from the group reads.
The idea to build the hotel was conceived by an illustrious Rwandan entrepreneur and a group of Chinese investors in 2009.
Together they formed New Century Development and financed the construction of the hotel. Shortly afterwards, the group succeeded in attracting Marriott to the project to act as the hotel’s long-term operator. This agreement required the hotel to be re-designed to meet Marriott’s standards.
By Edwin Musoni, The New Times