Bahrain hotel to be rebranded, say owners<!-- -->

The Holiday Inn Bahrain ... set for management change.

The Bahrain Holiday Inn will soon be renamed under a new management. Bahrain Tourism Company (BTC) general manager Abdulnabi Daylami said the 250-room property would not be renewing its management lease with the Holiday Inn when it expires in August.

He said negotiations with another major hotel management firm were in their final stages.

The BTC is the holding company for the five-star hotel.

Daylami declined to say which hotel management company would be taking over the property, but said the new affiliation was in line with BTC's long-term plan to upgrade the property's image.

"We have been affiliated with the Holiday Inn ever since the hotel opened in 1976," he explained.

"It has been a very productive relationship but the overall image of the Holiday Inn brand does not fall in line with our future development plans."

Daylami said he would announce the new hotel management firm by early September.

"The new brand will not only enhance our image, it will enable us to build more upgrades in our products and services," he said.

Daylami said there would not be any changes in either Bahraini or expatriate staff members, and that staff levels would be increased under the new company's rigorous staff and training development programme.

The hotel currently employs 168 people, 40 per cent of whom are Bahrainis.

The revelation comes on the heels of the completion of the property's third phase expansion and renovation programme.

The BTC, said Daylami, had already invested BD3.5 million in the four-year project, which began in 1999.

The first phase, which included the refurbishment of all guest rooms, was finished in late 2000.

The second phase, which included upgrades for all the food and beverage outlets, was completed last autumn.

The completion of the third phase re-development programme also includes 286 more vehicle parking spaces, which has always been one of the property's biggest weaknesses.

The final phase will begin in the first quarter of next year, and will include the addition of another restaurant and a total outdoor re-landscaping project.