By Charumini de Silva
Galadari is in talks with Radisson Blu, an upscale global hotel brand, to manage the 450-room star class Colombo property.
The Daily FT learns that discussions have been ongoing for a few months, though a final decision is yet to be made.
Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest hotel groups, with seven distinctive hotel brands with more than 1,100 hotels globally. Its portfolio of hotel brands includes: Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.
The new development comes amidst a previously announced $ 15 million upgrade of the Colombo city hotel.
The refurbishment of the 450-room hotel was to be done in two phases. It included the rooms in the first phase, and lobby, reception, shops and the restaurants in the second phase. The management earlier hoped to start the revamp in February 2020, for completion by the latter part of March 2021.
However, the Daily FT learns that the investors, Galadari Brothers, were not satisfied with the proposed new look of the mock-up rooms and architecture, and hence are exploring alternative options, a deal with Radisson Blu being one of them. It was stated that the duo have an existing relationship in the Middle East.
Sri Lanka tourism is struggling due to the twin shock of the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though holding great potential for the future.
Industry sources said if Galadari succeeds in finalising the deal with Radisson Blu, it will be a big boost for Sri Lanka tourism’s improving profile in terms of entry of global brands.
Based in the UAE for over 50 years, Galadari Brothers invested in Sri Lanka in the Galadari Hotel Colombo in 1984 and commenced operations in 1986. The group has strong interest in food and beverage, travel and hospitality, real estate, automobiles, heavy equipment, investments and media in the Gulf region to Asia and Australia.