Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening of the JW Marriott Absheron hotel in Baku

01 April 2012, 13:10
Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening of the JW Marriott Absheron hotel in Baku

- It is a very significant day in the history of our city. A beautiful and majestic Marriott hotel is opening in Baku today. I heartily congratulate you on this occasion. This is a very important event for the development of our city.

I am very pleased that the Marriott hotel meets all international standards. There are excellent conditions here. There are all the conditions for the people’s rest and for conducting a variety of activities. Both the external appearance and internal design of the hotel are beautiful. The work has been done with great taste. I am sure this hotel will be one of the most beautiful hotels not only in Azerbaijan but also in the whole region. I have no doubt that the level of services will also be at the highest level because Marriott is a world famous hotel chain. The arrival of Marriott in Azerbaijan is also a sign of the development ongoing in Azerbaijan.

At the same time, I am very pleased to note that the hotel has retained its historical name of “Absheron”. Because the construction of the “Absheron” hotel here in the 1980s was a great event for that time. The construction of the “Absheron” hotel on one side and the “Azerbaijan” hotel on the other established the boundaries of our main square. At present, life requires further development dynamics. I am very pleased that in the present panorama of Baku, the Azadlig Square, our main square, is again surrounded by beautiful hotels on both sides. So this beautiful square is now completed.

The construction of the hotel is also a sign of investor attention to Azerbaijan. The arrival and launch of internationally renowned hotel chains in Azerbaijan is a manifestation of the beautiful investment climate in Azerbaijan. We welcome investment in all areas, and I am very pleased that investments are currently made in the tourism and hotel sectors. In the past year alone four five-star hotels were opened in our city. This is the fourth. Two more five-star hotels will be opened in Baku in the coming months. I think it is a unique occasion in the history of the region – six five-star hotels are opened in one city over one year to 18 months, and this city is called Baku. Baku deserves such development because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Baku has a historical beauty. Ancient Baku has its own beauty, and it is a source of our pride. At the same time, the rejuvenating and modernizing Baku has already secured a rightful place on the world map.

The surroundings of the hotel are landscaped being as well. The subway built here takes people on to the boulevard. The historical Baku boulevard begins here, from this point. The length of our historical boulevard is 3.5 kilometers. The Baku boulevard used to be the longest boulevard in the Soviet Union. But the development of modern Baku and modern Azerbaijan required us to extend it. Following the ongoing construction of the new boulevard and of coastal areas around the Flag Square, the length of the Baku boulevard – old, new and the boulevard around the Flag Square – will reach 14-15 km in just one and a half months.

To do this, new small-sized buses have been ordered for our boulevard. There will also be sea taxis running from the boulevard to the Flag Square. So we are creating an unprecedented environment in the city that will be very difficulty to match. Such development and such investments really show the dynamic development of our country over a short period of time.
Our districts are also developing. Five-star hotels are built in the districts too. The Shahdag winter and summer ski center will be opened at the end of this year. It will be the most beautiful ski resort in the world. Currently, several five-star hotels are under construction there.

In the future, as a result of the influx of tourists to Azerbaijan, our country will secure a worthy place on the tourist map of the world. Today, Azerbaijan is a political and economic center of the region. Today, Azerbaijan is the energy center of the continent. And I want Azerbaijan to become one of the major tourist centers in the region and the world. The possibilities are there.

We have a beautiful country and wonderful people. The people of Azerbaijan are very hospitable. There is always great respect for and attention to foreign guests. We have a great climate. It is very safe here. People can walk and rest in safety round the clock. We have an excellent geographical location. The city infrastructure is being upgraded, we already have beautiful hotels. We have excellent conditions for hosting any international events.

I have been to various parts of the world. I have seen enough to draw comparisons. I have always sought to ensure that we apply the best practices in Azerbaijan, of course, given our peculiarities. I can say that it is an extremely rare occasion on a global scale for so many fine hotels to be built in a very small area. We are seeing this in Baku. There are all the conditions for people to live, work and have rest in Baku.

I am very pleased that the Marriott hotel is also beautiful from an architectural point of view. We must always pay attention to this because our beautiful city has unique architectural traditions. The architecture of our old city, houses built in the 19th century and modern buildings is beautiful. The biggest challenge was to make sure that that these styles did not disrupt the overall panorama and added further touches to it. I think we have achieve this, because old and modern buildings are in harmony with each other in Baku. Everything is done with good taste. Of course, I always keep the creative work and landscaping ongoing in every corner of the city in the spotlight.

We are turning Baku into a city gardens, parks and boulevards. Baku is our beautiful city, and I can say with full responsibility today that it is one of the most beautiful cities around the world.

Of course, the construction of such beautiful hotels and the arrival of international brands and renowned hotel chains in Azerbaijan further expand our capabilities, enhance our credibility and encourage investment in other areas.

One might wonder why six five-star hotels have been built in Baku in a year and a half. How will these hotels operate?

Will there be enough guests? I am sure there will be. I am sure that six five-star hotels will actually not be enough.

Because the development of our country and city is going so fast and the number of people coming to Baku is growing so fast that I think there will be a great need for hotel construction in the future too.

Of course, there are historic and beautiful places in our city. These places are actually occupied now – five-star hotels are built in Azadlig Square, in Azneft Square and in the upper part of the city. There will be a sound competition among these hotels. Two years ago Baku had only one or two five-star hotels, there was some sort of a monopoly in this field.

But now, in a sound competition, each brand will be showcasing its capabilities, and I want to say again that, of course, is a great contribution to our overall development.

This pleases me a lot. I am very pleased that this beautiful, modern and majestic hotel built with good taste is beginning to work today. I am sure that those working here are well-trained and qualified professionals. I am confident that you will provide guests with excellent service.

Let me heartily congratulate you on this wonderful event again and wish you every success. Thank you.