Double boost for City Stars
One of the Middle East's most spectacular developments of its kind, the $600 million CityStars Heliopolis Cairo, will open in the first half of next year, bringing together shopping, entertainment, office and residential facilities in the Egyptian capital.For Six Continents Hotels, the project marks a significant chapter in its ongoing development plans in Egypt, as it includes the 792-room Hotel Inter-Continental Heliopolis and the 330-room Holiday Inn Heliopolis, extending the company's Egyptian portfolio to 11 hotels and resorts. With business, conference and tourist facilities, the two hotels will play key roles in the success of this prestigious development, which aims to become the top spot in Cairo. Citystars Heliopolis Cairo, located in one of Cairo's most affluent areas, is a flagship project for the government of Egypt as it positions the country to meet the commercial and tourist requirements of the 21st century. Overseeing the pre-opening of the two hotels is German-born Thomas Hilberath, 52, who is general manager for the two properties. He has spent 37 years with Holiday Inn in a senior managerial capacity in his homeland, South Africa, Botswana and Romania and has received frequent recognition for performance during his career. He was recently project manager for the pre-opening of Crowne Plaza Bucharest in Romania which gave him invaluable experience for his new posting. "The opening of the Inter-Continental Heliopolis Cairo and the Holiday Inn Heliopolis further underlines our commitment to Egypt, and our part in attracting more and more business and leisure travellers to Cairo," said Hilberath. The multi-purpose CityStars Heliopolis complex is being built on an area of 750,000 sq m and will feature 350,000 sq m of office space, 450 premium apartment units and in-complex support and medical services. Multiplex cinemas, food courts, a theme park and 24-lane bowling alley will also feature in the development. Sales and marketing director Erik Huyer said the design and features as well as the services offered at the CityStars will highlight the new Inter-Continental philosophy encompassing special features and services from a customer point of view combining luxurious comfort with personal care for the needs of distinguished local and international guests. 'This landmark project is an ideal opportunity of managing two outstanding hotels within the same development and gives the guests the benefit of choice of two International brands in close proximity of the 12th largest retail, office and leisure centre in the world,' said Huyer. He said the Inter-Continental Heliopolis Cairo will offer the most extensive hotel conference, meeting and banqueting facilities in the region, with the largest ballroom in Cairo which can accommodates 2,000 guests and many other meeting, conference and function rooms. Huyer added work on the CityStars Heliopolis complex was progressing well. 'The building is closed from the outside, facade completed, windows in, furniture selected and already in production,' he said. 'The furniture fulfills the needs for our 'contemporary classic' guests i.e spacious room design with a large free standing desk, comfortable seating arrangements with luxurious finishes, and the state of the art telephone, TV and internet features. 'In other areas, the back of house is ready to receive the kitchens, in public areas specially selected marble for walls and floors is in place and the carpets are in the process of being woven. 'In the most prominent public spaces elements of Pharonic design are incorporated in harmony with the unique historical culture of Egypt. Huyer added that the Holiday Inn Heliopolis will be Cairo's first real four-star hotel.