Samia to open a new five-star hotel in Arusha


By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha. The official opening of a new five-star hotel in Arusha, the Gran Melia, will be one of the highlights of President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s working visit here which began yesterday.

The multi-million dollar hotel, which started operations in late 2019, is one of the leading accommodation establishments in Arusha and is managed by Gran Melia, a hotel chain based in Spain.

The facility, on Simon Road east of the city center, was buzzing last night as its workers and hospitality officials finalized preparations for the event.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Damas Ndumbaro, was among them but could not speak as he was held up in a series of meetings with several government officials and hoteliers.

The five-story hotel has a total of 171 rooms of different classes, including a presidential suite and eight other suites, the rest being regular rooms.

It sits on a site where the famous Saba Saba Hotel once stood. The latter was built in 1978 specifically to accommodate the delegates of the Conference of the Group of 77 in 1979.

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Details on the cost of building the hotel and the ownership structure could not be obtained yesterday as relevant officials claimed they were busy for the historic opening.

Gran Melia, Arusha joins several other top hotels in Arusha that have maintained the image of the city of Arusha despite the devastating impact of last year’s Covid -19 which forced some to temporarily close.

Those in full swing include Mount Meru Hotel and Four Points by Sheraton – both five-star – and Kibo Palace, Palace Hotel, New Safari, African Tulip, Gold Crest and many more.

President Hassan was due to begin her working trip to the Arusha region, the second in a month, after landing at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in the afternoon.

This morning she will be at the Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) based in Monduli, during which she will commission military officers as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

The inauguration of the hotel will begin from approximately 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tomorrow, the President will celebrate the opening of National Road Safety Week, to be held nationally in Arusha, at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium.

The president is expected to take the opportunity to express the government’s position on how to reduce the number of road deaths and related calamities in the transport sector.


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