Hotel investors look to Iran

As sanctions lift in Iran, builders are seeing opportunity
May 28, 2016 04:00PM

Global hotel companies are betting that lifted sanctions against Iran will bring waves of tourists and business travel to the Middle East Nation.

For example, the Spanish operator Melia Hotels International plans to open a 319-room hotel next year on the Caspian Sea, according to the Wall Street Journal. The French firm Accor Hotels has already opened two hotels near the Tehran airport. And Abu Dhabi-based Rotana Hotel Management has also begun to develop Iranian properties.

Western firms such Hyatt and Hilton fled Iran during the revolution in 1979 and sanctions against the country have made it difficult to do business there ever since.

“This is essentially the start of a new era,” Faisal Durrani, head of research at real estate broker Cluttons, told the Journal. “What you have is effectively the largest country in the Middle East open for business.” [WSJ]Christopher Cameron