By Tom Westcott.
Tripoli, 18 June 2014:
Some of the stationary cranes that have defined Tripoli’s horizon since the revolution are finally moving, . . .[restrict]after work restarted this week on the Al Ghazala InterContinental Hotel.
“This is one of the biggest construction projects underway in Tripoli,” the Area General Manager for MAN Enterprise, Wassim Aouad, told the Libya Herald. Lebanese company MAN is the main contractor for the hotel project, which officially restarted in January this year, although actual works could not begin sooner, he said, because many processes needed to be completed first.
“We are starting, in order to see if security-wise we can continue working to complete the project,” said Aouad. “If everything is okay, we will resume full manpower from September.” If work proceeds as planned, the hotel could be ready to open as early as January 2017.
“Someone has to start somewhere, and we are very excited to be back working,” said Paul Bryant, the Libya project manager for client representative PHWarr. “Just to get to this stage has taken two years of very hard work.”
It helped that PHWarr had maintained an active presence in the country, he said, as well as having a supportive client – the site owner Al Ghazala Tourism Investment. Once completed, the hotel will be operated by the UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group.
“We are looking to stay here, hopefully in the long term, and be part of Libya’s growth,” Bryant added.
Although the size of the project means that it should be employing some 1,400 workers on site, Aouad said that works had initially started with a relatively small number of labourers, although more were expected to arrive during Ramadan. A large shipment of equipment was also on its way, he added.
With the main structure already in place, the project is now in its third and final phase which, once working at full steam, should take an estimated 21 months to finish. When completed, the 5-star hotel will have 400 rooms and over 15,000 square metres of public access space, including restaurants, reception areas and meeting rooms.
MAN has been working in Libya since 2007 and was responsible for refurbishing the nearby Al-Waddan Hotel, a project it completed in 2009.