Arab investors have shown interest in Azerbaijan’s hotel business, especially the economy hotel sector.
Nevertheless, no purchases of Arabs buying hotels in Azerbaijan have been recorded yet, according to Samir Dubendi, chairman of the country’s Association of Hotels and Restaurants.
Dubendi told an interviewer recently that they do not have information about the sale of any Azerbaijani hotels to Arab investors yet. “They are interested in this sector.” He said. “Last year, we were approached by investors from Saudi Arabia, mainly interested in the economy hotel segment, two and three star hotels. However, no agreement was reached for unknown reasons,”
He said no hotels owned by Arab investors have been registered in Azerbaijan at the moment. Dubendi said his association compiles a register of tourist accommodation facilities, including information about their owners and managers.
“We have already completed work on the hotels located in Baku and now we carry out work in the other regions of Azerbaijan. I want to say that at the moment we did not see hotels belonging to or run by Arabs. Of course, this does not include hotels belonging to famous hotel chains.”
In the streets of Baku, in the hotels and restaurants, one can find a lot of Arabs enjoying the scenic beauty of the country, its food and the wonderful weather.
The introduction of a simplified visa regime this year for citizens of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries is one of the main reasons behind the increase in the number of Arab tourist arrivals.
Among the attractions for Arab tourists in Azerbaijan are the halal restaurants, the beautiful nature, direct flights and the short distance between the country and the Middle East.
The stability and safety in Azerbaijan is another reason behind the increasing arrivals of Arab tourists.
There were 4.5 times more tourists from Saudi Arabia, 1.9 times more from the United Arab Emirates, 7.4 times more from Oman, in 2017 compared to a year earlier.
As for the tourism infrastructure in the country, Azerbaijan can accommodate roughly 40,000 tourists at any given day, in its 575 hotels. The country can boast of a series of luxury hotels such as Fairmount, Excelsior, Hilton, Four Seasons, JW Marriott, plus a number of budget hotels for cost-conscious travelers.
Moreover, plans have been made by the state to increase the number of hotels complying with the halal standards of the country. In the halal hotels, no alcoholic beverages are allowed and food is prepared with halal standards.