by Michael J. Shapiro | October 03, 2017
Executives from Hyatt Hotels and Resorts expect to open a half-dozen new properties in Africa by 2020, which would double the lodging company's current portfolio on the continent and create some 2,100 new jobs.
 
Hyatt is focusing in particular on East Africa, where infrastructure investment is on the rise and international tourism is up by double digits year-over-year. "The development opportunities for Hyatt in Africa are significant, and we see enormous potential in the region," said Peter Penev, vice president of acquisitions and development for Hyatt. "With the introduction of a Pan-African, visa-free passport next year, alongside the continued improvement in the connectivity and growth of the region's airlines, we expect tourist and business travel will only continue to increase. We look forward to working with our local developers and partners to further deliver on our ambitious plan to help grow the hotel industry in East Africa."
 
Four out of the six announced hotels will mark Hyatt's entrance into those countries. They include the following:
 
• The 326-room Hyatt Regency Algiers Airport, Algeria (to open late 2018), will be directly opposite the airport's new terminal and be the only hotel directly linked to the terminal. The hotel is being designed to facilitate flight connections.
 
• The 200-room Hyatt Regency Douala, Cameroon (late 2020), will include nearly 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The hotel will be in the Bonanjo district of Douala, the financial hub of the city.
 
• The 180-room Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (summer 2018), will be in the central Kirkos district, near Meksel Square, the National Palace, the UNECA Conference Centre and African Union headquarters.
 
• The 140-room Hyatt Centric Kermel Dakar, Senegal (summer 2018), will be the first Hyatt Centric property in Africa. The hotel will have two restaurants, a guest lounge and bar, and be within walking distance of UNICEF and UNESCO.
 
Hyatt will open its third properties in Morocco and Tanzania, respectively:
 
• The 120-room Park Hyatt Marrakech, Morocco (early 2019), will be part of the Al Maaden residential and leisure development. A resort complex and Moroccan garden-inspired 18-hole golf course are planned, the latter designed by Kyle Phillips.
 
• The 144-room Hyatt Regency Arusha, Tanzania (early 2019), will be part of a 29-acre site in the center of the city, near Tarangire National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro. 
 
Hyatt will continue to look for opportunities in the region, specifically in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana and the Côte d'Ivoire. The company's current properties are the 432-room Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort, Egypt; 255-room Hyatt Regency Casablanca, Morocco; 152-room Hyatt Place Taghazout Bay, Morocco; 244-room Hyatt Regency Johannesburg, South Africa; 180-room Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, the Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and 67-room Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Tanzania.