Qatar's Al Sawari signs Aiana and Leela for India

Al Sawari Holding signs an MoU and two management agreements with The Leela Group and Aiana Hotels and Resorts, marking the Qatari group's entry into India

At the signing of the MOU and management agreements
At the signing of the MOU and management agreements

Qatar's Al Sawari Holding has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and two management agreements to mark its entry into India, with the signings taking place on the occasion of Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, visiting Qatar.

The first MoU was signed by H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, chairman of Al Sawari Holding and Vivek Nair, chairman & managing director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts.

Under this agreement, the Al Sawari Group will purchase a six-acre site from The Leela Group in Agra to develop a hotel complex - very close to The Taj Mahal. 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.

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“Qatar has a long history of bilateral relations with India and there is a lot of synergy between the two cultures. We are delighted to enter into these landmark agreements with The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts and Aiana Hotels and Resorts during the historic visit of prime minister Narendra Modi to Qatar.

"We are confident that Al Sawari Holding’s foray into the Indian hospitality industry will further enhance the economic and culture relations between the two countries," said H.E. Al Thani.

He added: "In line with our strategy to acquire key assets in strategic global locations, the property is located less than one kilometre from the Taj Mahal and will offer unparalleled views of the historic monument."

“We are delighted to partner with Al Sawari Holdings, and view this agreement as a forerunner to several other developments in India and overseas. The proposed Palace hotel will combine unparalleled views of the Taj Mahal with a truly luxurious hospitality experience in Agra. We are also looking forward to further strengthening our presence within the golden triangle by adding a Palace hotel in Jaipur and will continue our efforts to expand in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer,” said Nair.

Another management agreement has been signed with Aiana Hotels and Resorts to operate a 150-room Aiana Hotel on the same plot.

Amruda Nair, joint managing director & CEO, Aiana Hotels & Resorts L.L.C. said: "With the signing of our sixth hotel in India, we will continue to follow the cluster strategy that has been successful for the Aiana brand in India. Our next focus will be to complete the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and further enhance our existing developments."

“These agreements are the first of many that we as a group plan to enter into in India. We firmly believe in the potential of the Indian market and will continue to seek growth opportunities to create value and expand our portfolio in India," said Al Sawari Holding managing director Mohammed Shafiek.

The two new hotels will offer a host of signature restaurants and lounges along with spacious banquet halls and health centres and spas. Both hotels will cater to the upmarket leisure tourists and the MICE segment.

Construction is expected to commence soon and will be completed within 36 months.

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