The Hilton chain is pulling out of Bahrain after 30 years, it was revealed yesterday. As of next month, the Hilton in Manama will be managed by another international chain called Golden Tulip Hospitality.
Golden Tulip, which has its head offices in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, and Lausanne, Switzerland, has already signed a management agreement with the Hilton's owners in Bahrain.
A team from Golden Tulip's regional office in Dubai is now in the country working out the details.
"Our priority will be to further develop the hotel's infrastructure and enhance the quality of services," said Golden Tulip Hotels regional revenue manager Tariq Lutfi.
"Initially, at least five senior members of Golden Tulip in Dubai will move to the Bahrain hotel. They will carry out an in-depth study on the current level of services at the hotel and explore areas for improvement."
Mr Lutfi, who will also move to Bahrain as head of room operations, said Golden Tulip, which has an extensive presence in the Middle East, manages about 20 hotels in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia.
"We are presenting ourselves as an international chain with a local flavour," he added.
On the future of staff already working at the Hilton, Mr Lutfi said the new management would try to retain them.
"However, it is up to the staff whether to continue or not," he added.
"Those who want to move to other Hilton hotels in the region are free to do so."
A recent report issued by the Hilton said it had 172 staff, of which 60 were Bahrainis.
The minimum salary of all Bahraini staff was increased to BD200-a-month in July this year.
Golden Tulip Hospitality is the owning company of Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns & Resorts, franchising some 251 hotels across 37 countries - with the majority of hotels located in urban destinations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Through its commercial alliance with TOP International Hotels, a German-based hotel consortium, the French B&B Group and Australian Tourism Hotels and Leisure (THL), the combined portfolio comprises more than 52,000 rooms in 534 hotels.
A Hilton spokesman was not available for a comment yesterday.