AccorHotels becomes first global chain to enter Iranian market

A general view of Tehran's cityscape is seen from central Tehran. © Raheb Homavandi
The French group will become the first international hotel group to operate in Iran with the expected lifting of sanctions following the July nuclear breakthrough between the Islamic republic and the six leading world powers.

AccorHotels will open an Ibis hotel and a Novotel branch near Tehran's international airport.

The deal is expected to be signed on Tuesday by the world's sixth-largest hotel group’s CEO Sebastien Bazin and Iranian company Aria Ziggurat, which owns the buildings, AFP reports.

"There is an enormous potential for development of our brands in this country of nearly 80 million inhabitants whose economy is growing fast," Bazin said in a statement disclosed on Monday.

The hotels will be launched on October 15 with about 500 rooms available for bookings.

After the Islamic revolution in 1979, Tehran severed contracts with international hotel chains such as Hilton, Hyatt and Sheraton. The hotels were nationalized and renamed.