Katara Hospitality, the global hotel developer, owner and operator based in Qatar, has announced the appointment of international design partners, who will develop its first Moroccan property – the Tazi Palace Hotel in Tangier.
Hospitality design firm OBM International (OBMI), engineering partner Alatec and interior design specialists, The Gettys Group, are working together for the renovation project that will convert this former palace into a luxurious hotel resort.
An integral element of the architectural heritage of Tangier and overlooking the city from the heights of the outer hills, the Tazi Palace is set to become an outstanding component of Katara Hospitality’s distinguished portfolio of hospitality gems. A beautiful five star hotel will be created within the building shell, which was originally designed to become a royal residence, and an extension has been tastefully added to complement the historic building refurbishment.
The development project will establish a unique, modern take on Moroccan heritage, offering a luxury leisure ambiance complemented by local cultural influences, lush landscaping and panoramic views of the city and the ocean. A key aspect of the refurbishment is to preserve the natural prominence of the Palace, while enhancing its functionality and the overall guest experience.
His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality, said: “With this project, we aim to embrace the essence of Moroccan culture and hospitality. It is critical we have partners who understand the importance of the Tazi Palace, and OBMI, ALATEC and the Gettys Group do just that.”
“With its glorious history and contemporary Moroccan architecture, the Tazi Palace will become a true hospitality icon that represents both a proud legacy and an exciting future,” said Mr. Hamad Al-Mulla, Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality. “Once it is complete, the resort will emerge as a relaxing urban escape that is a true celebration of the rich Moroccan culture and history.”
OBMI, Alatec and The Gettys Group will bring their diverse portfolio of hospitality projects and valuable expertise to the project. The team was selected, through a rigorous tender process, for its award-winning combination of designers who specialise in the creation of successful destinations and recognise the importance of preserving the heritage behind hospitality gems such as the Tazi Palace.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the team that will revive the history of such a significant heritage building. Our designers look forward to the opportunity of creating a truly distinct experience,” said The Gettys Group Principal, Ariane Steinbeck.
Doug Kulig, Chief Executive Officer of OBMI and lead designer for the project, said: “It is an honour to be selected to not only preserve the heritage of Tazi Palace, but to have the opportunity to create a true destination in Tangier, which will embody both the history and culture of Morocco.”
In 2011, Katara Hospitality signed an investment agreement with the government of Morocco for the rehabilitation of the Tazi Palace. Under the arrangement, the hospitality company pledged to invest US$55 million to convert the former palace into a high-end five star hotel.
The Tazi Palace is scheduled to open in 2017 as a modern palace resort, consisting of 133 luxurious hotel rooms, two VIP villas, a 1400 m2 stand alone spa and fitness centre, two signature restaurants, in addition to state-of-the-art conference and banqueting facilities. A unique year-round destination, the 36,000 square metre property will feature beautiful gardens with lush vegetation with water features and layers of terraces focused around a spectacular outdoor pool. The natural beauty will be enhanced by breathtaking views of the city, golf course and in the distance, the ocean.
The Tazi Palace project is expected to generate more than 200 jobs for residents of Tangier and neighbouring areas.