Continuing its exponential growth, Abu Dhabi based Cristal Hotels & Resorts under the Cristal group aims to triple its portfolio within two years. The group has an aggressive target of 13 hotels in the Middle East by 2016 and 50 properties within five years – thus doubling its previous goal of 25 hotels.

Cristal Hotels & Resorts has enjoyed roaring success since the opening of its first hotel in Abu Dhabi five years ago and has emerged as a key player in the Middle East hospitality sector. Spreading its footprint rapidly, the chain now operates in four countries - the UAE, Iraq, Lebanon and the Comoros in the Indian Ocean. Next year the brand will debut in Saudi Arabia with two hotels in Riyadh, followed by a third property in Dammam.

Harnessing its unique capabilities, Cristal Hotels & Resorts is now focusing on high-growth markets and products. Peter Blackburn, President & Chief Executive Officer, Cristal Hotels & Resorts, said, "We are in the process of finding new markets and setting new targets. We have got some fantastic new projects in development that will give us access to fabulous new destinations such as Iraq and Lebanon. Opening next month is Cristal Erbil Hotel that is 5-star property centrally located in one of Erbil's landmark building alongside the 100 m ring road, 15 minutes drive from the airport. It features 100 luxurious rooms and suites equipped with finest facilities. Recently, we also signed 198-room Cristal Grand Erbil, scheduled for launch in 2016. In addition, a major addition to our portfolio is the 84-room Cristal Grand Kadri at Zahle, Lebanon, a historic landmark hotel located just 45 minutes from Beirut that offers 84 rooms and suites as well as an array of leisure and business facilities including a pool, spa, and conference rooms."

In other developments, Cristal Hotels& Resorts has recently signed an agreement with Delta Leisure Resorts (DLR) for West Africa's first premium theme and wildlife resort, recognized as The Best Future Urban Development Project at the 'Luxury Living' Nigerian Urban Development Awards in March.

The project includes a theme park, luxury retail village, wild life safari park and two hotels, said Mr Kamal Fakhoury the Chief Operating Officer: "We are delighted to be involved in a project of this magnitude which breaks new ground in Nigeria, and we will be operating two hotels to cater for differing budgets and tastes –one a five-star, 250-room Cristal Grand Delta and the other a three-star 400-room Sterling Delta hotel. Looking ahead, our strategy is to capitalize on the opportunities available. There is a huge potential of growth for group. "



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