CDA invites investors to convert Convention Centre into Hotel
ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority spent Rs 8.8 million on advertisements aimed at multinational companies interested in the constructing new luxury hotels in Islamabad.
Official sources told Daily Times that the advertisements were given in national and foreign newspapers to attract foreign investors. Among the foreign newspapers to receive the advertisement were the Sun and Financial Times in the UK, Gulf News in the UAE, and Asian Age in India.
Under cabinet instructions, the CDA has started planning for the construction of luxury hotels and resorts in the federal capital. The decision was taken to overcome the shortage of good hotels in Islamabad and rationalise the high rents.
The CDA and the management of Sheraton Hotel are reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to establish another of the chain’s hotels in Islamabad. The CDA has also proposed that the government either convert the Convention Centre into a hotel or a new facility be constructed on the land adjacent to the centre.
The Convention Centre is in a prime central location and the privatisation proposal has been floated a few times. Private parties have expressed interest in converting the centre into a hotel or a shopping mall.
The proposals were turned down each time because the centre is situated close to the diplomatic enclave. It was feared that the hotel or shopping mall would draw hundreds of people and create security problems. However, there is already a hotel, the Serena, situated just in front of the Convention Centre.
CDA sources said an influential lobby of hotel owners often obstructs the establishment of new hotels.
The Convention Centre was constructed in 1997 at a cost of over Rs 1.2 billion. The CDA spends over Rs 100,000 annually on the centre’s maintenance and security. staff report