|By Omar Obeidat, Jordan Times,
AmmanMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
April 18, 2011--AQABA -- Hilton Worldwide inaugurated the DoubleTree Hotel in Aqaba, its first development pipline in Jordan and the Middle East.
The newly built 173-room hotel, which is overlooking the Red Sea and located in the central business district of Jordan's only coastal city, was officially opened on March 23 just one day before the DoubleTree by Hilton in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the hotel's General Manager Jurgen Ammerstorfer told reporters at the weekend.
"Hilton Worldwide entered Jordan through this hotel and there are several other projects in the pipeline," he said, adding "we are here to grow."
Hilton Worldwide currently manages the King Hussein Ben Talal Convention Centre in the Dead Sea, which will be linked to the upcoming Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa due to open in 2014, Ammerstorfer indicated
The company also has Hilton Tala Bay Aqaba and Hilton Amman Jordan Gate in the development process, according to a company statement, which means that Hilton has signed a development pipeline of an additional 31 properties across the Middle East and Africa in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Namibia, Nigeria and Cape Verde.
According to the statement, Hilton Worldwide currently operates 46 hotels and one convention centre in the Middle East and Africa, totalling to more than 14,500 rooms across 15 countries.
Ammerstorfer indicated that the DoubleTree by Hilton in Aqaba has not been classified yet but noted that the company will apply to have the hotel rated a four-star hotel.
"What Aqaba needs currently is four-star hotels," he said, adding that in terms of international four-star hotel brands the hotel will be the first in the southern port city.
"The opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Aqaba is a strategic milestone for us in the Middle East and a sign of the progress we're making in expanding our geographical and brand footprint in the region. This hotel is the first of four we have in our development pipeline in Jordan and we're looking forward to becoming a positive and contributing member of the tourism industry here," Rudi Jagersbacher, area president -- Middle East and Africa at Hilton Worldwide, said in the statement that was made available to The Jordan Times.
In 2010, the global hotel company, which has 10 brands under its umbrella that comprise of around 3,700 hotels and 610,000 rooms in 82 countries, opened 178 hotels worldide and has 868 hotels in the pipelines, Ammerstorfer highlighted.
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Copyright (c) 2011, Jordan Times, Amman
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