The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: New Protea Hotel to Be Built in Hoima

Protea Hotels has signed an agreement for the construction of another hotel in Uganda, bringing to four the number of properties in the country. The new hotel will be constructed in Hoima, the centre of the Albertine Rift Valley oil exploration, extraction and processing region.

This industry will be a key market segment of the hotel, which is to be built to the oil and gas industry health and safety standards. The 80-room hotel will have six conference facilities capable of hosting 300 delegates each, two restaurants, a swimming pool, health club with gym, sauna and stream room, and disabled access to the property.

Construction starts in the third quarter of 2012, and is expected to last two years. Stuart Cook, managing director of Protea Hotels Uganda, said Protea Hotel Kampala and Protea Hotel Entebbe were already open, while Protea Hotel Mbale joined the portfolio on July 1.

"Protea Hotels is rapidly expanding in Uganda. This process is largely being driven by corporate travel because there is a lot of economic growth within the country. There are four Protea hotels now, but I certainly don't expect this to be the last expansion announcement in the medium term," Cook said.

The Protea Hospitality group is driving a massive expansion programme through Africa this year, with new builds and management acquisitions in Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia. Protea Hospitality group CEO Arthur Gillis said Uganda was an exciting developing nation and one where the company hoped to expand substantially in the next decade.

"This is Africa's time; never before has the continent offered so much in terms of political stability and economic growth."

He added: "It's exciting times for the continent, exciting times for hospitality as an industry here and especially exciting for the Protea Hospitality group as we further cement our position as Africa's largest and leading hotel group."

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