Diplomat Radisson SAS to get $5.3m facelift


The Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel in Bahrain is to undergo a multi-million dollar upgrade and refurbishment.

A contract for the renovation programmed was set to be signed by National Hotel Company (NHC) chairman Ahmed Al Zayani.

Project details and costings were not disclosed, but NHC general manager Abdul Rahman Morshed said that the upgrade would be around BD2 million ($5.3 million).

It will involve a facelift for all 246 rooms, as well as alterations of some public service areas and food and beverage outlets.

The main work of the renovation project will be carried out by Bahrain-based Kontra, while the interior design will be done by Muscat-based Zubair Furnishing Company, said sources.

It will take eight months to a year to complete and work should begin in May, Al Zayani said on the sidelines of the company's annual general meeting, at the hotel.

"It will be divided into two phases, civil works and fixtures, and furniture and equipment upgrade," he said.

Shareholders also gave the go-ahead for the company's BD6.5 million furnished apartments project, said Al Zayani.

He said the proposed 14-storey tower would be built north of the hotel and would take around three years to complete.

Al Zayani said when the hotel was opened more than two decades ago, its facilities were designed and built to accommodate 600 rooms.

"For example, our kitchen and banquet facilities' traffic flows and food and beverage outlets were all designed to serve a much larger crowd," he explained.

"Therefore, we won't have to make many adjustments within the hotel itself when the new residential tower comes on line by 2005."

The new luxury complex will offer 78 one-bedroom, 26 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom units, all with seafront views.

Meanwhile, the hotel achieved record figures last year during its first full year of operation under the Radisson SAS banner, which was endorsed in August 2000, said Al Zayani.

He said the company's total sales exceeded BD5 million, which was a 54 per cent increase over 2000. The hotel's overall occupancy rate last year exceeded 75 per cent, compared with 66 per cent achieved in 2000.

NHC posted a net income of BD1,413,714 last year compared with BD745,878 recorded in 2000. The board will recommend a cash dividend of 14.13 fils per share compared with 6.94 fils per share in 2000.