President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening commissioned Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala.
A 22-floor building with over 250 fully-furnished rooms is expected to create over 2,000 jobs. It becomes Kampala’s tallest building.
Its doors flung open to the public on June 15, 217. Pearl of Africa Hotel (formerly Kampala Hilton Hotel) will officially be Uganda's tallest completed building.
The five-star luxury hotel rises highest atop Nakasero Hill, on a 14-acre piece of land previously occupied by public broadcaster then-Uganda Television (UTV), which is now Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).
Kampala Hotel investor Muhammed Hamid, who is the chairman of the Aya Group of Companies, has sunk in an eye-spinning sh1.75 trillion to lift the megastructure to its dizzying height. That's US$300m after quick conversion, by the way.
It has been a work 11 years in the making – since 2006 precisely – and with its completion, owner Hamid and co have all reason to smile.
The 296-room facility has luxurious rooms, two restaurants, three bars, a 15th floor executive lounge, nine meeting rooms and a cutting-edge business center.
In 2012, the total construction bill for the property was estimated at about sh350b (US$150 million) but still the money was not enough.
Currently, over 200 workers, mainly Ugandans, have been trained for a year to handle business in the hotel, with the hope that the facility will attract mainly international tourists planning visits in the East African region.