13 December 2009

Uganda: Karim's Hotel Equatorial Becomes Mall

Kampala — HOTEL Equatorial, owned by city tycoon Karim Hirji, has been converted into a shopping mall, according to the management of Imperial Group of Hotels.

The director, Veluppilai Kananathan, on Saturday said the hotel had been converted into 700 shops.

He explained that the place was not suitable for hotel facilities anymore.

"The hotel was down town, where traffic jam is too much, and there is a lot of shopping going on. We realised that it would make more sense to turn it into a shopping mall," he said.

Kananathan added that 50 out of 89 rooms had been reserved to provide hotel facilities to the surrounding population, but will only provide bed and breakfast facilities.

All conference halls, some restaurants and the gym and sauna facilities have been turned into shops.

The Imperial Group of Hotels hotels, which include, Imperial Royale, Grand Imperial in Kampala, Imperial Resort and Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe were established in the early 1990s.

The workers, he said, have already been co-opted in the four remaining hotels in Entebbe and Kampala.

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