Crowne Plaza Petra Hotel to reopen in 2023 — Farajat

The Treasury in Petra. (Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Crowne Plaza Petra Hotel is expected to reopen next year following a 10-year hiatus for renovations, including expansion, which caused a stir over the costs involved and its closure for so long.اضافة اعلان

“I expect that the project will be completed in the first quarter of 2023,” revealed Sulaiman Al-Farajat, chairman of Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority.

“It will supplement the hotel sector in Petra and provide more than 200 job opportunities for the local community”, Farajat told Jordan News.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel, which is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, was inaugurated outside the famed tourist city of Petra in 1983. It closed down in 2012 for renovation and expansion.

The Investment Fund, which is affiliated with the Social Security Corporation, usually invests in hotels, including their renovation, as well as other profitable projects in the tourism sector.

Crowne Plaza’s closure and the 10 years spent in refurbishing it drew a controversy by some, who questioned the costs involved.

Insurance and social protection expert Mousa Al-Subaihi said money spent on refurbishment went to “waste”.

“The millions that have been wasted are the money of the citizens subscribing in the Social Security,” Subaihi told Jordan news.

“It is the money of workers and employees in all sectors,” he pointed out.

“The Investment Fund should either permanently quit investing in the tourism and hotel sector, or work in successful and distinguished companies that manage hotels and large tourism investments where it achieve profits and reward returns,” he added.

Subaihi said the JD40 million spent on the hotel since its inception could have been used for other projects. Of the total, he said JD14 million was the cost of establishing Crowne Plaza Petra Hotel in 1983, another JD14.6 million was spent on the current rehabilitation. The rest, or JD11.4 million, is profits and returns in lost investment due to the hotel’s closure for more than 10 years, he added.

Subaihi said the head of the Social Security Investment Fund “had promised that the hotel would open its doors to receive guests before the end of 2022. She also said the same in early 2020, that it would open its doors to tourists before the end of 2020.”

“But we are now in the middle of 2022, and it appears, from some photos that were taken recently, that the hotel’s rehabilitation project is unfortunately still stagnant,” he maintained.

“Who is responsible for the displacement of hundreds of employees, who were working in the hotel before its closure?” he asked. He said some of the employees “are still looking for suitable work until today, and the insurance has lost their subscriptions as insured as well?”

Farajat, the chairman of Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority, countered Subaihi’s claims.

“The information is incorrect,” he said. “As the head of the authority and a direct observer of the project, I see that the owner is doing his best to finish the project, and there is clear progress.”

“I think the completion rate is around 70 percent, and there is a clear follow-up by the owner of the project,” he pointed out.

“Of course, the restoration of an old building is not the same as building a new one, and it may take longer to ensure a better result,” he explained.

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