The capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, is investing heavily in infrastructure development and hotel expansion in a bid to grow its Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) business.
Ethiopian Airlines has constructed a new five-star hotel that will open at the end of January.
The Ethiopian Skylight Hotel is located a stone’s throw from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. It features a banqueting hall that can accommodate up to 2 000 guests and five meeting rooms.
The hotel also features 373 rooms, four restaurants, swimming pools, a gym and health centre, and an airline ticket office. A second phase of development will see the number of guest rooms increase to 1 000.
Addis is the diplomatic capital of Africa, with 120 foreign embassies and diplomatic missions as well as the headquarters of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), says Abel Alemu, Ethiopian Airlines Regional Manager for Southern Africa.
“There is a growing number of international hotel groups, including the Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson Blu, Golden Tulip, Marriott and Ramada by Wyndham entering the capital,” says Alemu. “There are also world-class conference venues at the AU and UNECA.”
From an airline perspective, Abel says MICE bookings across its network are growing, with Lagos, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Dubai, Madrid and Rome proving most popular with South African clients.