New resort 'will boost Bahrain's tourism potential'
Bahrain is an underexposed leisure destination with great visitor potential, says Accor Group of Hotels Middle East executive assistant manager Thomas Teo.The 34-year-old Malaysian-born hotelier remains excited over the prospects he and his company will bring to Bahrain later this year with the opening of the Novotel Al Dana Resort. The 34,000 sq m seaside property, being built on the south side of the Shaikh Hamad Causeway, between Muharraq and the Bahrain National Museum, is nearing completion. Construction of the BD10 million resort began last summer and will be finished in October. Teo said it will be the Accor Group's first hotel in Bahrain, although the firm is no stranger to the Gulf. "We opened our first hotel in the region in Jeddah nearly 20 years ago," he said. "We also have a property in Abu Dhabi, which we have managed for at least 18 years." Altogether, the Accor Group has 13 properties in the Gulf. "We will open five more hotels in the Gulf this year. We have two coming on line in Yemen, one in Al Ain, and another two in Dubai," he said. The company signed a contract last year with Al Jazira Tourism Company to manage the new hotel. Teo, who has been with the company for 12 years, came here from the Sofitel in Johor, Malaysia. The Novotel Al Dana Resort will have more than 175 rooms. It will also offer a 24-hour coffee shop and two fine-dining restaurants, serving seafood and Arabic cuisine. Other facilities will include a marina, two swimming pools, and a health club.