Ethiopia: Harar Gets Luxury Treatment


Ethiopia: Harar Gets Luxury Treatment
Design of five-star Hotel

The construction of the five star hotel in Harar Regional State at cost of 300 million Br is scheduled to be finalised within a year.

The Hotel, which rests on 9,700Sqm of land at the centre of Harar City, has a six-storey building, being constructed on 2,300Sqm of land, and a two-storey building to serve as a shopping mall.

Although the construction of the Hotel started two years ago, it has been delayed for a year due to high construction material prices and water shortage.

“We stopped the construction of the Hotel for almost a year, because we could not afford purchasing the construction materials at the time and there were severe water shortage in the town,” Abdulsamad Ibrahim, major shareholder of Glorious Plc, which owns the Hotel, told Fortune.

Glorious Plc, known for the importing and retailing of Sony electronic products, telecommunication equipment and kitchen appliances, as well as home and office furniture, was established in 1974.

The company is owned by two brothers of Ethiopian descent, Abdulsamad Ibrahim and Saad Ibrahim. The company has a starting capital of 27 million Br.

The Hotel, which fulfilled all the necessary requirements from the city investment office will bring income to the city by serving tourists, according to Muktar Ali, head of the region’s Investment, Mine & Energy office.

The investment activity in the town has been halted for long time, mainly as the result of the limited water supply, said Muktar, but now it has been partially resolved.

The total volume of investment in Harar amounts to 1.4 billion Br over the last sixteen years, which created employment opportunity for 4,318 individuals. Out of the total private investment, the share of agriculture was only 25pc while the share of the industry and service sectors was 32.5pc and 42.5pc, respectively.

One of Ethiopia’s historical cities and the first to get portable water, even ahead of Addis Abeba, 110 years ago, Harar has seen its resident population of 108,188 – according to the 2007 census conducted by the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) – suffer from water shortages for many years.

In February 2004, Alemaya Lake, where the town developed a water supply system in 1966, dried up due to declining levels of rain and excessive irrigation.

In 2012, however, the Harar Water Supply and Sanitation Project – funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to the tune of 33 million dollars – was finalised, giving some relief to the residents, as well as for the investment regime of the city.

The investment undertaken by Abdulsamad also includes a shopping mall, which is currently under construction behind the Hotel, and rests on 1,400Sqm of land. It also includes guest houses and seven rooms to be rented for businesses, which is engaged in gold retail.

The six-storey Hotel, on the other hand, will have 100 rooms, swimming pool and supermarket.

After the construction is finalised, after a year, it is expected to create jobs for 300 individuals, according to Abdulsamad.

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