Last updated: 14 September, 2015

French group to open hotels in Iran

French group AccorHotels announced Monday it will become the first international hotel group to operate in Iran as the Islamic Republic opens up to the West following the deal on its nuclear program.

AccorHotels will open an Ibis hotel and a Novotel branch near Tehran’s international airport.

The move comes just two months after the historic nuclear accord which the West says is aimed at preventing Iran from building a nuclear bomb. The deal received backing from the US Congress on Thursday.

The hotel contracts will be signed on Tuesday by AccorHotels’ chief executive Sebastien Bazin with representatives of Iranian company Aria Ziggurat, which owns the buildings.

The hotels are scheduled to open for business on October 15, with a total of nearly 500 rooms.

Aimed at both international and Iranian business travellers, they will be equipped with meeting rooms, conference spaces and spas, fitness suites and swimming pools.

“There is an enormous potential for development of our brands in this country of nearly 80 million inhabitants whose economy is growing fast,” Bazin said in a statement.

AccorHotels is the world’s sixth-largest hotel group.