Aya group of companies has finally announced that it will have the grand opening of Hilton Hotel not later than December.
The chairman of Aya Group, Mohammad Hamid made the pronouncement yesterday at a cocktailed attended by the State Minister for Privatization, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Aston Kajara.
“I am glad to announce today that we will officially announce the opening of our Hotel by December 2015,” Hamid said amid ululation and cheers from the congregation which also included bankers and development partners from Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) which partly financed this 300-roomed hotel at the pick of Nakasero hill.
The Hotel General Manager Mehdi Othmani said they are going to hire about five to six expatriates who will kick-start the operations of the hotel but these will have a target of two years within which to train Ugandans to takeover top management positions in the hotel.
“We are talking about 300 rooms here each with a different view so we have all the reasons to say we are running the finest in Africa,” he said.
He said they have the best swimming pool even for those who want to learn to swim and the children, they had just inaugurated the Tennis court and the foods and beverages they are going to offer are the best. “We are going to set a tone in operating 5-star hotels deluxe.”
The hotel Chief Engineer Nobert Feldiman said that he was told that when one builds a hotel, the first thing to consider is location, the second is location and the third is location.
He said in every room one enters, it has an exceptional view and one can see the city at its knees, so the Hotel is going to be a great success.
IDC’s High Impact and Regions Executive Katinka Schumann said that there is no better news than the opening of one of the largest investments they have in Africa.
“We have held different meetings and every time we meet we have had to explain extensions, but this is the best and I will have to take the pictures home. I thank the chairman (Hamid) for the tenacity and resilience to make this project a success,” she said.
On behalf of government, Kajara said this hotel project is a dream come true. He said that at this time when the US dollar is running high, the opening of this hotel will help government trap dollars here and save the weakening Uganda shilling.
“Uganda is the best tourist destination so the coming of this project is a blessing to those who need to enjoy the Pearl of Africa. We also recently discovered oil so the experts who are going to come for exploration and even Ugandan will have to fill these rooms and also the food that is going to be served plus taxes from rooms will all contribute to our economy,” he said. He said the investment is not in vein because Uganda is a fast growing economy second to South Africa.
Hamid said the hotel will create over 2000 jobs so it is a landmark investment which is going to be here for generations. “This hotel needed to take that long to build it to World class International standards.” He said Aya group operates 4250 hotels in 93 countries all over the world and they have 12 brands.