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November 10, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

The Rocco Forte Collection Announces Signing Of Cairo Hotel

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH) has appointed luxury hotel group, The Rocco Forte Collection, to manage The Shepheard Hotel in Cairo as a five-star hotel within their renowned brand after their assistance in the full renovation of the hotel.

This is the fourth management contract win for The Rocco Forte Collection in the Middle East and North Africa after Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and Marrakech.

The Shepheard Hotel is owned by EGOTH, a subsidiary of The Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels and Cinema, HOTAC, one of the region’s largest hotel-owning companies that already works with several other leading hotel brands. The company’s plans are in place to convert the 279-room Shepheard Hotel, strategically located along the famous Nile River in the heart of bustling downtown Cairo, to a full-fledged Rocco Forte Collection Hotel after an extensive renovation period.

The hotel was founded by an Englishman named Samuel Shepheard in 1841 and became the leading hotel in Cairo for much of the twentieth Century. The original hotel was destroyed by fire twice, once in 1891 and again in 1952, then rebuilt on the banks of the Nile in 1957 where it remains operating today.

The Rocco Forte Collection team will take on temporary management of The Shepheard Hotel as of November 2009, running it outside of its main brand. The hotel will then close for total refurbishment and renovations.

EGOTH and The Rocco Forte Collection will start work immediately on plans to restore and renovate The Shepheard to its former glory and make it once again one of the best luxury hotels in the region. George Freeman and Associates of London have been appointed as the interior designers for the project and British company 3D Reid for architecture.

The refurbished Shepheard will emerge as a luxury hotel within The Rocco Forte Collection brand in 2012 offering 275 elegant bedrooms, state-of-the-art facilities, outstanding design and the latest technology complemented by the highest standards of service and attention to detail.

Sir Rocco Forte, chairman and chief executive of Rocco Forte and Family Plc, said, “This management contract is very important to our company. It is the fourth we have won in the Middle East and North Africa since we announced in 2007 our intention to build on our existing base in Europe. Any company serious about this region needs to be represented in Cairo and we have secured one of the very best locations in the city. We have built a strong luxury brand over the last decade and will work only with partners committed to making premium profits through outstanding service delivery. EGOTH is a very experienced and successful hotel-owning company which shares that vision for The Shepheard and we are delighted to be working with their team and that of their parent company, HOTAC.”

Aly Abdel Aziz, chairman of the Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels and Cinema HOTAC, said: “The Rocco Forte Collection is one of the great hotel groups in the world and I am delighted that Sir Rocco and his team will be helping us to refurbish and operate The Shepheard Hotel. They have a strong luxury hotel brand and it is perhaps appropriate that a hotel founded by an Englishman in the nineteenth century should once again be under English management in the twenty-first century.

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“The presence of The Rocco Forte Collection in the heart of the city, paralleled with the extensive efforts to upgrade and improve the entire infrastructure of the industry is an affirmation of our serious commitment to attract new development projects and improve the entire investment environment in Egypt. We are all looking forward to transforming The Shepheard Hotel into a luxury hotel of which Cairo, and Egypt, can be proud and to adding The Rocco Forte Collection to the list of leading international management companies with which we work.”

General Nabil Selim, chairman of EGOTH, said, “The Shepheard has occupied a special role in the life of Cairo and I am very pleased that we are today announcing a new partnership to help us make it a luxury hotel of which Egypt can be very proud. The Rocco Forte Collection has emerged as the winner of a very competitive competition. We have chosen the company because of its commitment to the Middle East; the ability of its brand to deliver global sales and marketing benefits while still retaining the individuality of this very special hotel; and because of its focus on producing a good return for hotel owners. We will commence the renovation program of the 275 room hotel in December 2010 to finish end of 2012.”

The Rocco Forte Collection is due to open hotels in Abu Dhabi and Jeddah in 2010 and a resort in Marrakech in 2011.

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