The pacts for constructing the 250-room hotel in 30 months were signed on the sidelines of PM Modi's visit to Qatar.

Leela Group signs pact with Qatar firm to build hotel near Taj MahalNarendra Modi/Facebook
news Monday, June 06, 2016 - 11:56
Written by  PTI

In an agreement entailing an FDI of Rs 500 crore in India, Qatar's leading company Al Sawari Holding on Sunday signed agreements with The Leela Group and Aiana Hotels and Resorts to build a twin-hotel near the iconic Taj Mahal.

The pacts for constructing the 250-room hotel in 30 months were signed on the sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit, shortly after he invited Qatari companies to invest in India by exploring the "vast opportunities".

Construction of the hotel in Agra will entail an FDI of about Rs 500 crore, Leela Group Chairman Vivek Nair told PTI after signing the pact with Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of Al Sawari Holding and Al Faisal Holding.

"We will be developing a two-hotel complex with a total of 250 rooms," said Amruda Nair, Joint Managing Director and CEO of Aiana Hotels and Resorts, who launched the brand 'Aiana' in Qatar a year back.

The hotel will be built under the brand name 'Aiana' and will be the sixth such hotel in India, she said, adding it will be located just one km from Taj Mahal.

The 150-room 'Aiana Agra' will be operated by Doha-based Aiana Hotels & Resorts while The Leela will operate 100-room Leela Palace.

Vivek Nair said the project will entail 100 per cent FDI.

"Under this agreement, the Al Sawari Group will purchase a 6-acre site from The Leela Group in the historical city of Agra to develop a hotel complex. Al Sawari Holding has also entered into a management agreement with the Leela Group to operate a 100 room Leela Palace Hotel on this site," said a press statement issued later.

"Another management agreement has been signed with Aiana Hotels and Resorts, a global hotel management company to operate a 150-room Aiana Hotel on the same plot," it said.

Amruda said Sheikh Faisal is keen to support the brand with additional properties in other locations as well -- Europe and Maldives. "So we continue to look at opportunities." 

Nair said Leela also has a plan, on its own, to build a 60-room hotel in the Prime Minister's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi in 24 months.

"We have now gone into asset-like strategy. Developers come to us and say 'please develop a hotel like Leela Palace or Leela Goa'. So, apart from Agra, we are putting up a hotel in Jaipur and a 1,000-acre property in Chandigarh -- a 27-hole Golf course and villas and a 150-room hotel," said Nair.

"Internationally, we are just about to execute an agreement in Dubai with the royal family there for a hotel facing the Burj Khalifa. It will be 250-room hotel. Another hotel in business bay," he said.

"In January we will start operating a hotel in Maldives.

Island property," Nair said, adding: "So we are growing rapidly."

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