Daily Archives: October 3, 2016

Hilton Builds For The Future At AHIF With Its First Modular Hotel In Africa

Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road becomes landmark deal, with additional signings in Kenya and Nigeria as Hilton seeks to double its presence across the continent.

Hilton Worldwide has marked this year’s African Hotel Investment Forum [AHIF] with the announcement of new properties and extensions in three African countries. It continues the company’s commitment to expansion across the continent as it seeks to double its footprint from its existing 39 hotels to more than 80 hotels in the next 3-5 years.

Among the new hotels agreed is Africa’s first modular build hotel, the 280 guest-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, a concept that Hilton first premiered in 2014 through a partnership with CIMC Modular Building Systems. Other deals see the creation of Africa’s tallest hotel in Nairobi, while Hilton builds on its industry leading airport hotel legacy with an extension to the recently signed Legend Curio at Lagos Airport. Hilton will manage all three properties as it continues to expand its managed hotel portfolio.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Having been present in Africa for more than 50 years we’re proud to have remained at the forefront of pioneering hotel growth on the continent.

This year at AHIF we’re breaking new ground in the region with the announcement of our first modular build hotel, a fast-paced construction solution that we feel has huge potential in Africa, with quicker returns for investors and a world-class hospitality experience for guests.

“We remain hugely committed to Africa across our portfolio of world-class brands, continuing to introduce our hotels to new markets across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.”

Modular construction is an innovative solution that can be used to drive hotel development, offering numerous benefits including faster development, streamlined design and cost efficiencies.

The process involves assembling portions of the hotel – including guest rooms and hallways – in China, before transporting them to the final site for completion, thereby significantly reducing the time taken for construction. The model helps ensure consistent quality and accelerates the build schedule on site, a particular benefit for developers and investors in emerging markets.

Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road is being developed under a management agreement with Independence Properties Ltd, whose majority shareholder is Trasacco Estates Development Company Ltd. With a planned opening in 2018, this will be the first Hilton Garden Inn in Ghana.

Ian Morris Director Independence Properties and CEO Trasacco Estates Development Company said: “After building a number of three star plus properties in West Africa the option to go modular and improve on room quality, project delivery and minimise construction risk was warmly embraced by our development, design and construction teams and we feel is the future of the industry.”

Paul Blackmore, Managing Director CIMC MBS, said: “We are very proud of the continued association between Hilton and CIMC, with Hilton Garden Inn being an excellent brand for utilising our modular technology. In Independence Properties we have another great partner focussed on a high-quality product. Africa is a key strategic focus for CIMC, where our solutions can minimise risk on site while protecting and improving owner returns.”

Located on Liberation Road, the main connection between Ghana’s capital and its major international airport, the hotel will feature three restaurants and amenities offered at each Hilton Garden Inn location, including complimentary high speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 24-hour business and fitness centers, alongside four adjustable meeting rooms and a 450sqm ballroom.

Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill, Kenya (255 guest rooms)

A management agreement with Jabavu Village Ltd and White Lotus Projects sees Hilton expand on its existing presence in Kenya to create Africa’s tallest building. Standing 330m high, Hilton Nairobi Upper Hillis due to open in 2020, as a 255 guest-room and suite hotel in Kenya’s capital. It will offer multiple food and beverage outlets, including a relaxing poolside bar, speciality smokehouse and grill restaurant, lobby dining area with landscaped deck and a boutique rooftop bar with unbeatable vista views of the Nairobi skyline on the 43rd level.

Finally, having previously announced the signing of Curio, The Legend, Lagos Airport, Hilton has also confirmed that an additional 76 guest rooms will be added to the hotel bringing the room count up to 130-keys and further strengthening its expansion in the country.

The hotel, due to open during 2017 will be the first within the airport environment giving guests and airline passengers alike unrivalled ease of access to the airports’ facilities.

NAFEST Opens Yesterday In Uyo

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the annual National Festival of Arts and Culture [NAFEST] has evolved from being just an instrument of national unity to becoming a platform to help boost the level of economic activities in the country

The Minister said this in Abuja on Thursday at a press conference to herald the 2016 edition of the festival, to be held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, 2-9 Oct, with the theme “Exploring the Goldmine Inherent in the Nigerian Creative Industry”.

He said NAFEST, which was introduced in 1970 as a vehicle to foster unity among the various sections of the country after the 30-month civil war, would now be explored to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economy.

Alhaji said the new direction of the festival, which attracts participants from the 36 states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, is reflected in the theme of this year’s festival which, he
said, is geared towards using our various cultural products and expressions to develop a creative economy and, at the same time, promote the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products.

“Indeed, festivals around the world are moving from just being a forum to showcase arts and culture to becoming a tool for economic growth.

Creative industries are becoming creative economies. More and more people are moving from manufacturing concerns to creative concerns, and no country wants to be left behind.

This is why this Administration has included the creative industries, as well as
tourism, among the core areas for the diversification of the economy away from oil,” he said.

The Minister, who commended the tremendous role played by NAFEST in cementing the bond of unity among Nigerians, said the Festival still remains very relevant to national cohesion and integration.

“Today, some 46 years after the civil war, the festival is more relevant than ever. There is an urgent need to bring us closer together as a people, amid widening divisions along ethnic, religious and social lines. The fact that contingents from different parts of the country come together annually, irrespective of their ethnicity or religion, to showcase their arts and culture and leverage on their comparative advantage is very healthy for our country,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed disclosed that the government is collaborating with local and international partners, including the British Council and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, to enhance the capacity of festival managers through training, in addition to mapping the various arts and
culture festivals across the country as part of the deliberate effort to turn festivals into an economic entity.

He commended the organizers of NAFEST for outlining various activities such as the Indigenous Poetry Performance [Children Participation], Drama, Arts and Crafts Competition, Essay Writing as well as Drawing and Painting Competitions, indigenous Cuisines and Traditional Wrestling to further enhance the quality and uniqueness of this year’s festival.

On her part, Dayo Keshi, Director General of the organizers, National Council for Arts and Culture [NCAC], said NAFEST has a peculiar characteristic of focusing on indigenous cultures and heritages, with a view to creating a multiplier effect on income generated at the grass roots.

She said a special feature of this year’s NAFEST is a colloquium to brainstorm on how to make the festival a contributor to the nation’s GDP.