Haile Hotels Extends to Debre Berhan




Haile & Alem International Plc, the operator of Haile Hotels & Resorts, is opening its ninth property in Debre Berhan, 130km northeast of of Addis Abeba, in Amhara Regional State.

Owned by the celebrated long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and his wife Alem Tilahun, the new eight-storey, 100-room hotel is expected to cost 200 million Br and employ 200 permanent workers once completed. The hotel will offer a wealth of features including a business centre, swimming pool, playground, several meeting centers, restaurants and bars. The company has already secured an investment license from the investment bureau of the city of Debre Berhan, which also serves as the seat of government for the North Shoa Administrative Zone.

The company has been operating for nearly two decades and provides employment to over 2,000 people across its business empire. Haile & Alem is involved in real estate holdings, hospitality centers, hotels, resorts, tour and travel operations, a hotel management school, cinemas, gyms, spas, schools and agricultural enterprises.

“We requested a 10,000sqm plot of land from the City Administration five months ago and got 8,000sqm” said Melkamu Makonnen, director of Hotels & Resorts at Haile & Alem.

The company obtained the building site from the City Administration in an area called Ma’kel, translated as central.  The parcel sits close to a hotel owned by Gete Wami, another prominent athlete. Several town administrative offices are currently located on the lot, and they are expected to be relocated to a new building that is under construction.

The company’s proposal was initially submitted to Debre Berhan Investment Bureau but was sent to the regional state office as all hotel investments require approval by the regional state, according to Bedlu Wubishet, deputy mayor of the town.

“We expect the approval from the regional state within two weeks,” said Bedlu. “After that we will provide them with the land they requested.”

To accommodate the first phase of the construction project, approximately 2,500sqm land will be made available initally by relocating existing offices, including trade, agriculture, vocational and micro enterprise bureaus, according to Bedlu.

SA Construction Plc, a local construction firm, has been awarded the contract to build the hotel under the supervision of Geretta Consulting Architects & Engineers, another local firm. Geretta Consulting has previously designed the Burkina Faso Embassy, Oromo Cultural Centre building, Snap Plaza and the Zefmesh Grand Mall, among others.

“The hotel will be all-inclusive incorporating basic services a standard hotel would have,” said Melkamu.

Apart from Haile’s new hotel, 12 other three-star properties have obtained construction approvals from the regional state to improve hotel services in the town. The town currently hosts only three standard hotels. The government is constructing an industrial park, as well as registering and approving 178 investment proposals, out of which only 40 projects have been completed and are operational.

The new property by Haile & Alem will have a positive impact on the expansion of locally-branded hotels, according to Kumneger Teketel, managing director of Ozzie Business & Hospitality Group.

“The hotel can build people’s confidence on locally-branded hotels and could offer reasonable prices,” he said. “It will also play a big role in decreasing the domination of foreign-branded hotels in the country,” he added.

The company aims to triple the number of hotels it owns in six years, according to Abiyu Tesfaye, assistant manager of Haile & Alem International.

“We aim to reach 25 hotels and resorts by 2024,” said Abiyu.



By BERHANE HAILEMARIAM
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Aug 04,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 953]


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