Dubai: Nakheel's Djibouti Palace Kempinski hotel will open in the first week of November to coincide with a summit of African leaders, a senior company official said yesterday.

The 337-room five-star hotel and conference centre will be operated by hotel management chain Kempinski, which has plans to open seven hotels in the region by 2009.

James Wilson, chief executive officer of Nakheel Hotels and Resorts, told Gulf News yesterday that $130 million is being invested in the Djibouti Palace Kempinski in two phases.

"The hotel will open to 100 per cent occupancy in the first week of November," Wilson said.

Leaders of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) arriving for a conference in the East African country will be among the hotel's first guests.

Kempinski at present runs 10 hotels in the Middle East and Africa. Its latest property management project is with Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim Group company MAF Hospitality for a five-star hotel in Bahrain scheduled to open in 2008.
The hotel is part of the Bahrain City Centre development in Manama city.
It is Kempinski's second management contract with MAF after the opening of the Kempinski Hotel at Mall of the Emirates earlier this year.

Bahrain City Centre

The Bahrain City Centre project includes Manama's largest shopping mall covering 150,000 square metres, a Carrefour hypermarket and 40 restaurants. The hotel will have 196 rooms and suites, a spa, fitness centre and restaurants.

"Kempinski continues to focus its expansion in the Middle East as the market potential here is huge," said Ulrich Eckhardt, senior vice-president for Middle East and Africa.