Register for our free newsletter

Latest News

Kurdistan’s answer to the Burj Al Arab

Kurdistan’s answer to the Burj Al Arab

This 39-floor building is being touted as northern Iraq’s take on Dubai’s famous ‘seven star’ hotel. But critics say the development doesn’t serve the needs of locals.

March 16, 2010 6:44 by

It is being touted as Iraqi Kurdistan’s answer to the Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s ‘seven-star’ hotel.

On paper, this statement might seem an aberration for those who are familiar with the dusty, small towns of northern Iraq. Yet the 39-floor concrete structure has been popularly dubbed “Burj Suleimanieh,” even though the owner has already announced that it will be “The Grand Millennium Suleimanieh,” affiliated with the high-end British franchise.

Construction work began in June 2006. It was originally slated for completion by summer of 2010, but the deadline was pushed back by a year due to unforeseen logistical snags.
The relatively secure Iraqi Kurdistan region is still considered a war zone, says the project manager, Amer Jawad. It has been challenging to bring in the foreign expertise required to meet the lofty standards and specifications, he says.

The hotel, designed by an Abu Dhabi-based architecture firm, will contain five executive floors, one revolving restaurant, and two swimming pools. Finding skilled labor was also an issue, says Jawad, adding that many of the workers had to be brought from Baghdad or India.
None of this has thwarted the ambitions of Farouk Mala Mustafa, chairman of Farouk Holding Group and owner of telecom giant Asia Cell, which, with an 8,000-strong staff, is the second biggest employer after the regional government. He also owns two cement factories, several other hotels, and a medium-cost housing complex called the Goyzha Project on the outskirts of the city.

“[Mustafa] is doing this because he loves his city; his goal is to serve the people of Suleimanieh,” says Warzer Sarwar, his nephew and the project’s resident engineer.

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , ,


  1. serw zorna on March 16, 2010 10:37 pm

    very interesting in the city where the gang rule fore decade

  2. OFiroz on March 18, 2010 10:59 am

    If anybody in any part of the world want extraordinary building structure and style they have to be from UAE. If one go to Sheikh Zayed Road they will find all kind of fascinating buildings in various shape and style. So no wonder they found the team from Abu Dhabi for this project in Iraq.
    Indian Government has banned their citizens to go to Iraq due to the war and terror that made this Arab country one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Still Indians go there to work risking their own life for the hefty remuneration.
    My question is why do they have to build a 7 star hotel in a war zone? Is it necessary at least now? Still there are places in Iraq struggling without drinking water and medicines!

  3. Andrew on March 18, 2010 3:42 pm

    They buildings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are mostly puerile phallic extensions, someone really just come out and make one shaped like a bell end.

  4. DENISE-THE-MENACE-ONCE-AGAIN on March 23, 2010 9:09 am



  5. Andrew on March 25, 2010 10:46 am

    They could call it, “The Big Hard One”.

  6. Kurd on April 19, 2010 1:16 pm

    OFiroz ,

    Kurdistan is not a war zone, not a single soldier has died in kurdistan since 2003.

  7. Newroz Qex Kurdi on April 20, 2010 4:23 am

    Kurdistan cities will be Paris, New York, London, Sydney. Lets go to Kurdistan :-)

  8. Ali Baba on June 15, 2010 8:34 pm

    This a 5 star hotel, not seven star.

    “According to Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Tourism and Municipality, the provinces of Erbil, Duhok and Sulaimaniyah were visited by nearly 150,000 foreign tourists last year – an increase of nearly 150% within two years. Foreign tourists mostly comprise of Middle Easterners (mainly Iran and Turkey), Europeans, Americans and an increasing number of Asians.”

    Obviously a large number of these visitors would want to stay in good a hotel, hence you have hotels like Shary Jwan ( managed by Millennium) being build.

    There are close to 25 four and five star hotels under constructions in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah. Among them are Erbil Rotana Hotel (US$ 55 million), Divan Erbil Park Hotel, Le Royal Erbil Park Hotel.

    The region has attracted more than $12bn (£8.3bn) in non-oil investment in the past four years, some $3.1bn from abroad. There are already 1,200 foreign companies working in the region. And although so far the majority of inward investment is from the Middle East – particularly Turkey, Lebanon and Kuwait.

    Kurdistan is principally known for oil and gas. With oil reserves estimated at 45 billion barrels, and between 6 and 8 trillion cubic metres of gas, hydrocarbons are both a major economic asset for the region, and a route to the world stage. Some 40 exploration contracts have already been let, and there are high hopes for the proposed Nabucco pipeline set to run from Azerbaijan through Turkey and on to Europe

    The domestic economy is also booming, particularly the construction and retail sectors

    The Kurdistan region in Iraq, will become like another Gulf state in the next 12-15 years [ if it stays peaceful like now].

  9. UDAY SALEH on August 15, 2010 7:37 pm


  10. Kalboz on March 22, 2011 8:50 pm

    What they gonna call it “Burj Kaka” LOL!!! :)


Leave a Comment