Benghazi’s largest hotel reopens after 3 years
PAROLES D’ENTREPRENEURS À L’INTERNATIONAL 2018
(9 Feb 2018) LEADIN: Benghazi’s largest hotel has reopened after a three year hiatus. The Tibesti was forced to shut when violence flared in the city centre. STORYLINE: Check-in is open once again at the Tibesti Hotel. The modern accomodation had been closed for more than three years, unable to do business as fighting between the Libyan National Army and militant groups raged in the centre of Benghazi. But it has now reopened and is accepting guests. Staff have been back running the Tibesti since 1 January. Abu Bakr A-Farsi, the hotel’s General Manager, says there is still some “minor maintenance” they need to deal with. “The opening is always difficult,” he says. The Tibesti is the largest hotel in Benghazi, located in Sidi Hussein area in the centre of the city, overlooking Benghazi Lake. It has a number of restaurants, shops and offices of international airlines, and was the first hotel in the city to be built in a modern style. It’s also the highest and largest building in Benghazi to date with 15 floors and 242 rooms including 22 suites. “With time, God willing, we will be getting back to the 5 star rating,” says A-Farsi. “It is a symbol in Benghazi and for every Libyan.” On 1 June 2011, the hotel came to international attention during the Libyan Civil War when explosives were detonated in a nearby car. Benghazi is now experiencing relative good security and stability. That has encouraged the city’s municipality and some residents to begin cleaning and maintenance campaigns, gradually restoring life in the centre of the city once again. Local resident Obaida Shamia says the reopening of the Tibesti Hotel will “make all the difference” for Libya’s second largest city. “The centre of the city means a lot to the people of Benghazi and the visitors of Benghazi,” he says. The hotel is owned by the Libyan Social Security Fund and managed by the Social Security Investment Company.