Wyndham Hotel Group Brings First Branded Hotels To Najaf In Dual Signing

Two new Ramada hotels will provide internationally branded quality and convenience to religious tourists in Iraqi holy city

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Wyndham Hotel Group today announced plans for two new hotels in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, in a deal announced with Bukhamseen Group For Real Estate, Tourism, General Trading & Contracting Company. Located just 800m from the Imam Ali Holy Shrine, the third holiest site for the estimated 200 million followers of the Shia branch of Islam, the co-located Ramada Plaza Najaf and Ramada Hotel & Suites Najaf will cater to the needs of the booming religious tourism industry in the city. The new four-star hotels will join the existing Ramada Sulaymaniyah to become the second and third Wyndham Hotel Group properties in Iraq.

Mr. Hani Kafafi, CEO Al Houda Hotels and Tourism Company and Geoff Ballotti, president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Hotel Group, celebrate an expanded presence in Najaf.

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Millions of pilgrims visit the Imam Ali Holy Shrine each year, with numbers expected to surge further when the expansion of the nearby Al Najaf International Airport is complete. Dan Ruff, Wyndham Hotel Group’s president and managing director for EMEA, added: “Najaf is a thriving holy city, with thousands of Shia Muslims from Iran and other areas of the region making the pilgrimage to the Imam Ali every week. This growing number of visitors seeks the quality accommodation which we offer under the umbrella of our Ramada brand, as well as the convenience of being located just 800m down the road from the sacred site. The significant number of jobs these openings will create for local people will help to boost the city’s growing tourism industry even further.”

Located on Kahrabba Street, the Ramada Plaza Najaf will boast 225 rooms including 20 suites to suit differing needs and budgets of visitors. Multiple meeting rooms including an 800sqm banquet room can accommodate business or special occasion functions. Guests can enjoy the luxury of leisure facilities, including both indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness room and spa, before relaxing and dining in a choice of two restaurants or an additional lounge.

Connected to the Ramada Plaza, the Ramada Hotel & Suites Najaf offers flexible accommodation in the form of 149 studios and 91 high-end one-bed apartments, providing an ideal space for families and groups. Guests can make use of the leisure facilities at the Ramada Plaza next door, as well as additional meeting space, restaurant and lounge. Both properties are expected to open their doors by mid-2018, creating an impressive 465 jobs for local workers and helping to boost the growing local economy.

Wyndham Hotel Group.

Developer Emad Bukhamseen added, “The signing of this deal with Wyndham Hotel Group will allow us to fill a real gap in the market in Najaf. The global reputation the Ramada brand enjoys is one of quality and reassurance for the traveller, so it’s a solid addition to our portfolio.” Emad Bukhamseen also added that, “Environmentally-friendly building materials were used to suit the local conditions, solar power technology will be used whenever appropriate and most of the hot water for the property shall be generated by a solar system.  This multi-use complex also hosts a commercial centre with a rentable area of 14,000 sq.m. to enhance the experience of the hotel guests as well as the local business community.”

All Ramada hotels in the region participate in Wyndham Rewards®, the simple-to-use, revolutionary loyalty programme from Wyndham Hotel Group that offers members a generous points earning structure along with a flat, free-night redemption rate in 72 countries across the world – the first of its kind for a major hotel rewards programme. To learn more or to join for free, guests should visit www.wyndhamrewards.com.

About Wyndham Hotel Group
Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest hotel company based on number of hotels and is one of three hospitality business units of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN). As both a leading hotel brand franchisor and hotel management services provider, the company’s global  portfolio consists of nearly 8,000 properties and approximately 679,100 rooms in 73 countries under the following brands: Dolce Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Grand®, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Garden® Hotels, TRYP by Wyndham®, Wingate by Wyndham®, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham®, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham®, Ramada®, Baymont Inn & Suites®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Howard Johnson®, Travelodge® and Knights Inn®. Wyndham Rewards, the company’s guest loyalty program, offers more than 45 million members the opportunity to earn and redeem points at thousands of hotels across the world. For more information, visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

About Ramada
Part of Wyndham Hotel Group, Ramada® is a global chain of nearly 840 midscale and upscale hotels. Most properties offer a wide-array of services and amenities, including but not limited to high-speed wireless Internet access, on-site restaurants, lounges, room service, concierge service, meeting and banquet facilities and business centers. Properties also offer travelers the opportunity to earn and redeem points through Wyndham Rewards®, the brand’s guest loyalty program, which can be joined for free at www.wyndhamrewards.com. Each Ramada hotel is independently owned and operated, except for certain Ramada hotels outside of the U.S. which are managed by an affiliate. Ramada Worldwide Inc. is a subsidiary of Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC and parent company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN). Reservations and information are available by visiting www.ramada.com.

Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest hotel company based on number of hotels, encompassing nearly 8,000 properties and approximately 679,100 rooms in 73 countries. Additional information is available at www.wyndhamworldwide.com. For more information about hotel franchising opportunities visit www.whgdevelopment.com.