Intercon group to open hotel in Kampala

Sunday October 9 2011

The Hotel Intercontinental in Nairobi. Photo/FILE

The Hotel Intercontinental in Nairobi. Photo/FILE 

By DICTA ASIIMWE, Special Correspondent

THE INTERCONTINENTAL Hotel Group is to set up shop in Kampala, seeking to cash in on the growing demand for accommodation and conference facilities in Uganda.

The group has partnered with Kingdom Kampala, a company owned by Dubai-based Azure Holdings Ltd, to run the hotel.

The $80 million investment, with a capacity of 303 rooms and 34 suites, is currently under construction.

The arrival of Intercontinental in Kampala is expected to bring competition for other international brands such as Sheraton, Serena, Protea and Hilton.

The real competition is expected to be the Kampala Serena Hotel and the Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo, whose reputation was established when it hosted the Commonwealth Heads of States and Government Meeting in 2007.

Officials say the hotel will depend on its status and conference facilities to attract business.

Sawan Ravani, director of Kingdom Kampala, says Intercontinetal plans to build the city’s largest conference centre to compete with the market’s big names.

“The conference and NGO communities have the highest demand for business facilities in Uganda; we therefore believe that Intercontinental Kampala, by offering the country’s largest convention centre, will be making the perfect move,” he said.

The combined number of rooms in the big hotels has grown to 6,800 from 1,800 in 2007. Most of the hotels are located in Entebbe, Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala.