International hotel chain Golden Tulip has officially taken over the management of the Hilton, with effect from New Year's Day. A management agreement for the 250-room five-star hotel was signed by Golden Tulip with the hotel owning company, Investment & Trading (Gulf) Enterprises, yesterday.
Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns and Resorts is headquartered in Amersfoort, the Netherlands and Lausanne, Switzerland.
"We are extremely satisfied with our development in the Middle East," Golden Tulip president and chief executive officer Hans W R Kennedie at the signing ceremony, at the hotel.
"Adding the Golden Tulip Bahrain to our fast growing portfolio gives us yet another strong destination in the region.
"We are very optimistic regarding the outlook of our Middle Eastern network of Golden Tulip Hotels and Tulip Inns as well as our brands' recognition in the market place."
The Golden Tulip Bahrain is an acquisition towards the group's regional development plan, said Golden Tulip vice-president and managing director for MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region Dr Amine E Moukarzel.
"We are glad to be present in the Kingdom to contribute to the fast growing tourism attractions," he added.
"We are also proud to have acquired Golden Tulip Bahrain to our group of MENA region hotels, comprising a total of 24 hotels in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the UAE and Yemen."
Dr Moukarzei said the new management would be concentrating on the Bahrainisation of key positions.
"One of our core values is our indispensable employees, who we take care of through specialised training and development," he added.
Essa Al Jowder, representative of the hotel owning company, said the staff would continue in their positions.
"The new management is keen to keep the trained staff with them at a time when the hotel industry is facing a shortage of qualified staff," he told the GDN.
"Out of nearly 200 staff, about 45 per cent are Bahrainis.
"We are delighted to join the network of Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns & Resorts and would like to thank the previous operator Hilton International for managing the hotel for the last 30 years."
The 10-year agreement with the Golden Tulip will come into effect on New Year's Day, said Mr Al Jowder.