SOFITEL COMES TO PAKISTAN TO ADD NEW COLORS IN HOTEL INDUSTRY

The hotel would be a 28-storied vertical structure having 286 rooms, each covering 40 sq yd or 430 sq ft area.

AMANULLAH BASHAR
Apr 16 - 22, 2007

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, while performing foundation-laying ceremony of a five-star hotel Sofitel to be built with a cost of Rs 3 billion, expressed confidence that the arrival of a number of hotels of international repute would help promote tourism in Pakistan.

"Tourism sector has vast potential and could generate a lot of economic activity attracting investment and leading to creation of job opportunities," the Prime Minister said at the ceremony that was held at Governor House recently.

In Pakistan, Siddiq Sons and Yunus Brothers, country's two leading groups of industrialists, are sponsoring the hotel. The construction work has already started on the plot at Clifton Road that formerly belonged to Mideast Hospital.

Abdul Rahman, the Project Director of Sofitel, told PAGE that the hotel would be a 28-storeyed vertical structure having 286 rooms. The hotel would be operational in June 2010 and would be having an edge over others. For example each room would have a covered area of 40 sq yard or 430 sq. ft as compared to usually 300sq ft in other hotels. When completed the hotel would offer many attractions to the guests which are normally not available in Pakistan, he said with a confidence.

The management has come to Pakistan with a program to introduce SOFITEL in all major cities of the country, Abdul Rahman said, adding, it is just a beginning from Karachi.

BACKGROUND

1964: The very first Sofitel opens in Strasbourg, France.

1995: Sofitel's network includes 100 hotels; 18,472 bedrooms; 12,500 employees throughout 40 countries worldwide.

1997: Sofitel becomes part of Accor's multi-brand group.

2000: Two big strides for 2000 after 10 years with no new openings in the U.S., Sofitel cuts the ribbons in downtown Philadelphia and New York City's Times Square.

2002: Major international expansion: Sofitel opens its doors in Europe (London, Marseille, Cologne); Africa (Marrakech); North America (Chicago, Washington, Montreal); South America (Quito) and Asia (Shanghai, Bangkok).

2004: Sofitel opened 31 hotels including 20 Dorint in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria and Spain

2005: Sofitel continued its growth with such openings in Asia, in Australia, in New Zealand, in Fidji Islands, in Tunisia, in United Kingdom and in Spain.

Nowadays, Sofitel is the prestige brand of Accor Hotels. The brand encompasses nearly 200 upper upscale hotels in 53 countries.

PRIME MINISTER

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the people could judge the ongoing economic boom from the fact that three major projects regarding setting up of Textile City, Sofitel Hotel and JPMC Towers have been initiated, which will bring positive impact on the skyline of Karachi.

Prime Minister Aziz said Karachi was a business and industrial hub of the country, having energy and resilience, adding, doors were opened for industrialists and investors in Karachi with every sector witnessing a fast growth in economy.

Shaukat Aziz also announced the construction of a third port - after Karachi Port and Port Qasim - to be built at Keti Bandar. "We will take up and complete the feasibility through the Ministry of Ports and Shipping," he said.

Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim lauded President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz for the newly inaugurated Gwadar Port and for the announcement of constructing second port at Sonmiani in Balochistan.

The Prime Minister asked the Sindh government to maintain peace and stability in the province for continuation of growth and development. He said efforts should be made to ensure safety and security of the citizens, which was the government's primary responsibility.

Terming peace and stability as major prerequisites for development, growth in local and foreign investments, the Prime Minister said economic and political stability achieved during the last seven years had put the country on the path of sustainable growth. Shaukat Aziz said the government believed in the supremacy of law and added that the reference in the Supreme Judicial Council was filed after meeting all constitutional requirements.