All signs point toward Kenya, especially Nairobi as reports of a new hotel owned by the world’s 5th richest man, Mukesh Ambani circumnavigate the Internet. Mukesh Ambani has apparently bought some land in Nairobi’s central business district (CBD) and is planning to build a brand new 21-storey five star hotel.
The development is supposed to play a key role in helping to rebuild the confidence in the city’s hospitality sector. Kenya experienced some nasty devastation at the beginning of this year after post election violence rocked the country.
Early this year in April reports surfaced about Delta Resources, Mr. Ambani’s new company in alliance with an Arabian real estate firm to develop a five star hotel in Nairobi’s CBD called Delta hotel.
Mr Ambani is said to be willing to move large amounts of cash into the Kenyan hospitality scene to help revive the market. Kenya’s hotel market is growing with a fair few new luxury hotels on the horizon.
Ambani’s involvement with the new planned Delta hotel is to set him back by some US$7.5m. The hotel will be located on a 0.2 hectare plot of land currently used as a 200-car parking space in Loita Street (between the Grand Regency and Barclays Plaza if you are familiar with Kenya).
Reports talk of a new entertainment complex and health club as being part of the new development. There is also a planned shopping mall, four levels of parking, rental office space, and ample lifts and elevators. There will be a massive 21,000 SQ. M of space to let. This is expected to add competitive pressure in the luxury hospitality market which is currently dominated by big players like the Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, the Nairobi Hilton, the Norfolk, Nairobi Serena, Safari Park, Panari, the Stanley and Grand Regency.
The project’s work is currently waiting approval from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), who are obliged to conduct an environmental impact assessment before building can begin.
One problem that has already been identified is that the project will exacerbate the scarcity of car parking space in Nairobi’s CBD because it would instantaneously take up 200 existing car parking spaces.
Last year, before Kenya went into election, the tourism sector was seeing some considerable growth that had been climbing for three years straight.
A booming business and conference tourism was mainly responsible for the growth which ended up stretching the hotel room availability to maximum capacity. This was one of the reasons why Ambani set his eyes on Nairobi.
His plans to construct a new luxury hotel right in the CBD would certainly help this shortfall of available rooms.
Once completed, Delta hotel would stand at 120 metres, making it the second tallest building in Kenya along with the Teleposta Towers. Construction is expected to be completed in 2010.