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Some major U.S. hotels moving into Iraq

Some major U.S. hotels moving into Iraq

December 14, 2011

By Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY

Some major U.S. hotel chains are planning to go into Iraq just as the last of U.S. troops are pulling out.

Best Western recently broke ground on two hotels in Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan in the northern part of the country. Hilton Worldwide is set to open DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Erbil at the end of 2013. And Marriott International will open two properties there in 2014.Hotel executives say they see an opportunity in northern Iraq, which is attracting so much foreign investment because of its oil and gas reserves that a new airport opened there last year.The area is also considered relatively safe, having severed ties with Saddam Hussein after the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. As a result, it was spared the fighting that the capital, Baghdad, and other parts of the country endured from the 2003 war. Its scenic beauty and archaeological ruins also earned it a spot on National Geographic's "20 best trips of 2011."

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