Heavenly hotels in hellish countries


Above: Serena Hotel in Kampala, Uganda (Joseph Kony’s beloved country)

Many people might consider the bizarre idea of Aga Khan, one of the direct descendants of Muhammad the Prophet, spiritual leaders of more than 10 million Ismaili Muslims, followers of Shi’a Islam, to establish a chain of 5-star hotels and resorts in war-ravaged nations, simply ‘bizarre’. Serena Hotels, so-called ‘Ritz Carlton for the failed states’, have so far built hotels in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, Mozambique, and a few countries in Africa and Asia, each of which successfully garners high annual turnover. Despite political instability, the hotel group manages to keep on growing, and as of the end of 2011, their assets have surpassed half a billion dollars (as a matter of fact, a night’s stay in Serena Hotel Kabul will cost you almost 360 dollars).

For sure, however, all of these hotels are not prone to guerrilla attacks, or any forms of violence. One of its hotels in Kabul was the witness behind the bloody siege by Taliban insurgents, which ended up in a brutal military crackdown that resulted in dozens of deaths, in the troops’, insurgents’, and the visitors’ sides, and massive destruction to the entirety. Conclusion? The war may go on, but so will the business. Nobody can’t wait longer for more bucks.


Read it at Foreign Policy.


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