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The Claremont Group and Hilton Worldwide to Open New-build
200-key DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil in Iraq


DUBAI, U.A.E. and MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton Worldwide is set to open its first hotel in Erbil, the flourishing capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, under a management agreement with New York based real estate developer The Claremont Group. Comprising of 200 serviced apartments, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil is expected to open at the end of 2013.

The new hotel will be strategically located on Erbil's central thoroughfare, close to the recently expanded Erbil International Airport and the Ainkawa district, one of the city's main retail and entertainment centres.

Rob Palleschi, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton brand said, "I'm delighted to be bringing our brand to such an important city in the Middle East. DoubleTree by Hilton has built its success on providing high standards of service and quality facilities in gateway cities, which makes it the ideal choice for Erbil's thriving community."

Tailored for the needs of long-staying guests, the hotel will feature a business centre, health club, swimming pool, eight meeting rooms, two restaurants and a lobby lounge and bar. Around 200 jobs will be created at the hotel and the company's focus will be on employing people locally.

"Erbil's commercial status is increasing year on year and the city has a growing reputation as an up and coming tourist destination. We have every confidence that the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil will prove popular with the growing number of business and leisure travellers,' commented Rudi Jagersbacher, area president, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide.

National Geographic recently listed Kurdistan, Iraq, amongst their Top 20 best trips describing it as 'an oasis of peace and stability with ancient cities, snowcapped mountains and bustling bazaars' and the New York Times travel section also listed Kurdistan in their 41 places to visit for 2011 saying 'the biggest lure is the opportunity for authentic cultural encounters'.

Stephen Lari, Principal of The Claremont Group, said 'There is so much potential in Kurdistan and particularly the city of Erbil. We've seen travel to the region grow considerably over the past couple of years. If that trend is going to continue then further infrastructure is required to support the industry. Hotels are key to that, and with Hilton Worldwide we know we have the right brand and management partner to make this hotel an integral part of the travel industry in the region'.

He added: "We'd like to commend the leadership of the Kurdistan Regional Government for fostering the secure and pro-investment environment that has been the catalyst for the region's steady growth and prosperity.   By making the first major American-sponsored investment in the region's hospitality sector, we are firm believers in the Kurdistan success story"

Hilton Worldwide currently operates 53 properties across the Middle East and Africa and has 36 hotels in the development pipeline. So far this year the company has signed a total of 14 new hotels into the pipeline across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and now Iraq.

About Hilton Worldwide Middle East & Africa
Hilton Worldwide currently operates 53 hotels and one convention centre in the Middle East & Africa, totalling to more than 15,000 rooms across 17 countries. There are 18 hotels in Egypt, one hotel and one convention centre in Jordan, ten hotels in the UAE, six in Saudi Arabia and one each in Oman and Kuwait, plus another 12 hotels in Africa and 3 hotels in the Indian Ocean.

Hilton Worldwide has a signed development pipeline of an additional 36 properties across Middle East & Africa in the U.A.E, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Uganda, Nigeria and Cape Verde.

For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonworldwide.com and www.hiltondevelopment.com

About The Claremont Group
A global leader in real estate development, The Claremont Group is a New York based family owned firm specializing in office, residential, lodging, student housing, and international projects. The Group's development activities in Kurdistan also include The Atlantic, a new mixed-use 1,600 unit residential project in the heart of Erbil.  For more information, please visit http://www.theclaremontgroup.com.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,750 hotels and timeshare properties, with 615,000 rooms in 85 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit www.HiltonWorldwide.com or connect with Hilton Worldwide www.HiltonWorldwideGlobalMediaCenter.com.

About DoubleTree
With a growing collection of contemporary, upscale accommodations in more than 240 gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations worldwide, DoubleTree by Hilton hotels are distinctively designed properties that provide true comfort to today’s business and leisure travellers. From the millions of delighted hotel guests who are welcomed with the brand’s legendary, warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in to the advantages of the award-winning Hilton HHonors® guest reward programme, each DoubleTree by Hilton guest receives a satisfying stay wherever their travels take them. To find out information about any DoubleTree by Hilton hotels, travellers may visit our website at www.DoubleTree.com or contact their preferred travel professional.
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Contact:

Emma Corcoran
Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa
emma.corcoran@hilton.com
+971 (0)4 365 4886 (UAE)

Thomas Wingham
DoubleTree by Hilton Global Brand Public Relations
thomas.wingham@hilton.com
+1 703 883 5315 (USA)



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