Cristal Group opens second Iraq hotel in Erbil

Abu Dhabi-based group reaches six properties with 100-room hotel

Peter Blackburn, Cristal Hotels & Resorts president & CEO.
Peter Blackburn, Cristal Hotels & Resorts president & CEO.

Cristal Group has opened the 100-room five-star Cristal Erbil Hotel, bringing its operating portfolio to six hotels.

In Iraq, the company already operates the Cristal Grand Ishtar hotel in Baghdad and the 298-key Cristal Grand Erbil is scheduled to launch in 2016.

The company also announced plans earlier this year to launch its first three-star Emerald branded hotel in Erbil by the end of this year.

Commenting on the launch of the Cristal Erbil Hotel, Peter Blackburn, Cristal Group CEO said: "Cristal Erbil Hotel's opening represents another significant step forward for the Group. It offers all the hallmarks of the Cristal brand from strategic location, stunning views to its bespoke service".

The hotel is set to operate four F&B outlets once fully up and running.

Open already are sports bar Blendz lobby lounge, Viewz restaurant, and The Shish restaurant wth Kurdish Kebabs and Taouks, as well as Iraqi river fish slow-cooked over an open pit fire for the traditional masgouf experience.

The hotel will also launch a garden restaurant that can accommodate up to 1000 guests.

Additionally the Cristal spa will offer a gym, swimming pool with Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. MICE facilities will include conference rooms and a 300- PAX ballroom.

The Cristal Group currently has twelve pipeline properties for the Middle East region, all of which are due to open by 2016. It operates six hotels: two in Abu Dhabi, two in Iraq, one in Comoros and another in Lebanon.

It has also set a target of 50 properties within five years, essentially doubling its previous goal of 25 hotels.

The Cristal Group was co-founded in Abu Dhabi in 2007 by Kamal Fakhoury and Peter Blackburn.

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