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Thai hotel chain inks deal to begin operations in Nairobi

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From left: Mugo Kibati, director-general of Vision 2030, Thai Ambassador to Kenya, Kosit Chatpaiboon and his wife, and Dusit International managing director Chanin Donavanik toast to the signing of a management agreement between the Thailand-based hospitality Group and Cape Hotels, the developers. Photo/Courtesy

From left: Mugo Kibati, director-general of Vision 2030, Thai Ambassador to Kenya, Kosit Chatpaiboon and his wife, and Dusit International managing director Chanin Donavanik toast to the signing of a management agreement between the Thailand-based hospitality Group and Cape Hotels, the developers. The Asian hotel groups will manage the 100-bed hotel at 14 Riverside, in Nairobi. Photo/Courtesy 

By WANGUI MAINA

Posted  Thursday, January 17  2013 at  19:29

In Summary

  • The deal will see the group operate the hotel at 14 Riverside, a mixed development with five office blocks, retail spaces and the hotel, owned by the proprietors of Tiles and Carpet.
  • Snehal Sanghrajka, a director at 14 Riverside, said that they settled on dusitD2 because of the “unparalleled brand of Thai hospitality” it brings to the Kenyan market.
  • The property developers and management companies are looking to cash in on the growth in the tourism sector, which is mainly driven by business and conference visitors in the city.

Thai-listed company Dusit International the latest global hotel chain set to open shop in Kenya Thursday evening signed a management contract to operate in Nairobi.

The deal will see the group operate the hotel at 14 Riverside, a mixed development with five office blocks, retail spaces and the hotel, owned by the proprietors of Tiles and Carpet.

The hotel will be called dusitD2 Nairobi and it is expected to open its doors before the end of the year.

“The favourable growth prospects and infrastructure of Kenya’s capital city provide an excellent foothold from which to further develop our brand on the African continent,” said Dusit International managing director and CEO Chanin Donavanik.

The company joins global chains like Dubai-based Emaar Hospitality, Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Best Western, Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition and Kempinski that are set to start operating in the country following the signing of management contracts.

The investors are joined by local companies that have also recently opened or are developing new hotels including Eka Hotel, Red Cross’ Boma Hotel and Hemingways Nairobi.

Snehal Sanghrajka, a director at 14 Riverside, said that they settled on dusitD2 because of the “unparalleled brand of Thai hospitality” it brings to the Kenyan market.

The property developers and management companies are looking to cash in on the growth in the tourism sector, which is mainly driven by business and conference visitors in the city.

Dusit International, which is currently going through a major expansion plan launching operations in different countries including China and the US, is also eyeing to roll out more hotels in Kenya and the rest of the region.

“In concert with our international expansion plans, we aim to solidify our presence in Africa and explore opportunities in locations such as Maasai Mara, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam and Kampala,” said Mr Donavanik.

Founded in 1949, the group manages more than 20 properties across the world under its five brands.

In 2006, the group launched its lifestyle collection with dusitD2 hotels and resorts, the brand that will be available in Nairobi.

The dusitD2 represents boutique hotels in business districts. They offer a place to meet, an ideal destination for a business people of which the new Nairobi property is.

This is its second property in Africa, having opened one in Cairo in 2009.