InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has this week announced an agreement with Moroccan developer, Groupe Cadex, to open its very first property in Morocco in the beautiful resort destination of Marrakech. Not only is this the first venture into Morocco for the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand, but also for parent company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). The new-build resort development – the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa – is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2011 and InterContinental is working closely with Groupe Cadex to create the finest resort in North Africa. Appealing to both the affluent leisure and business traveller, the resort will comprise 180 rooms and suites, a first-class 2,000 square meter spa, a diverse selection of dining and leisure options. As well as 118 apart-hotel units, the resort will boast a mix of upscale InterContinental-branded residential units, including riads, villas and apartments that will have access to a variety of a-la-carte hotel services. While guests will enjoy views of the Atlas Mountains, the resort will be located just a ten-minute drive from the airport and city centre. Groupe Cadex has assembled a highly renowned team of advisors including architects JLA and interior designers KCA International. Marrakech is the second largest city in Morocco and located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Welcoming approximately 30 per cent of tourist arrivals into Morocco, Marrakech’s key attractions include its stunning location, historic medina, gardens, mosques, galleries and the largest traditional souk in Morocco. The announcement of the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa continues what has been a period of unprecedented growth for the InterContinental brand with significant global expansion in 2007 that will continue into 2008 and beyond. The opening of the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa will further establish the hotel brand as a benchmark of quality and luxury around the world. Jennifer Fox, Chief Operating Officer of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts for Europe and North Africa, said: “The signing of the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa to our portfolio is a major coup for us and we are absolutely delighted that we have managed to secure such a great location and partnership for our first project in Morocco. The country is an increasingly important and high-profile destination for international travellers and we are confident this development will cement our position in the region and in a market to which we are committed. We are extremely proud to be working with Groupe Cadex on the development and look forward to opening the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa and to working on other projects with Groupe Cadex in the future.” Ali Youssefi, President of Groupe Cadex, added: “With InterContinental’s excellent pedigree in managing high-end hotels and resorts across the globe, we are delighted to have established this relationship with one of the world’s leading hospitality brands and eager to begin work on opening the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa. We believe this to be an especially exciting development for the region, with this addition to the local hospitality industry sure to strengthen leisure and business tourism to Marrakech. We look forward to the opportunity to expand our relationship with IHG in Morocco through future hotel projects.” In addition to the InterContinental Marrakech Resort & Spa, Groupe Cadex is currently planning additional hotel properties in Marrakech (including a second golf resort) and in Morocco (including projects in the Casablanca region and in Tangiers).