Luxury in Karbala

Al Rawdatain Gardens is going to be the first five star hotel in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq. Range Hospitality has come up with the idea as nearly 10 million people visit the holy city every year but accommodation is a huge problem for them.

“The thought was initiated after my partner’s grandmother visited Karbala last year and told us that her experience was amazing — but she was very disturbed with the standard of accommodation, which was not only unsatisfactory but extremely expensive,” says Munaf Ali, CEO, Range Hospitality. “We intend to offer pilgrims an opportunity to visit Karbala without losing out on the religious experience; by ensuring that the accommodation is enjoyable too.”

The hotel is a 12-storey building and will have an estimated 624 suites, ranging from studio apartments to spacious two bedroom suites some of which will have views of the holy shrines and the city from its balconies. Having Dewan Engineers and Architects on the bandwagon means the internationally designed interiors are in skilled hands. As people from all over the globe flock to the holy city, their taste buds will also be varied, thus the hotel will have all types of cuisine for the customers.

Besides regular dining facilities, kitchens are built in all the suites allowing guests to prepare food and meals in the comfort of their own privacy. There will be a supermarket inside the hotel premises, as well as childcare so that parents can pay their respects at the shrines. For those pilgrims looking to stay connected with work, business centres with required services will be available. A specialist health centre with a doctor and nurse will also be available, on call 24 hours a day.

The location has been carefully planned: at a distance of 980 metres from the holy shrines — a mere 15 minutes walk from Al Rawdatain Gardens.

The hotel is also a means to help the local Iraqis. Around 20 per cent of the profits from this hotel will be given to charity, especially catering to the local Iraqi community, and the construction of the hotel will involve roping in talent from local Iraqis. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2011 and is estimated to be complete by mid-2013. Ali and his team hope that this will just be the beginning of development in Iraq.

Range Hospitality is also planning to open more hotels at various religious destinations around the globe. These projects include Mashhad (Iran), Damascus (Syria), Mecca (Saudi Arabia) and Najaf (Iraq) — the plan is to meet all religious requirements of those in need.

“In the coming years, we aim to have a portfolio of leading world class hotels across the globe offering pilgrims an affordable solution to what is not just accommodation, but a lifestyle,” says Ali – Khaleejtimes