Iraq’s government run National Investment Commission (NIC) is seeking to attract $145 billion investment in the country’s hospitality sector over the next five years, with 22 percent of this investment coming from the UAE. Manager of the NIC’s Economic Department, Dr. Aifar Fahd, said “NIC plans to draw $500 billion into Iraq over the next five years, with 29 per cent of that attributed to the hospitality industry alone.”
A number of high profile brands have announced expansion plans in Iraq. UAE-based Rotana Hotels and Resorts Group, Marriot, and Kempinski have signed up or are in the process of expanding their properties in Iraq. The Abu Dhabi investment company Noor Capital announced it has partnered with UK hospitality developer The Range to build a $100 million five-star hotel apartment project in the holy city of Karbala, Iraq. The project is expected to be complete in 2013.