KOPRI plans five-star hotel

Saturday, July 7, 2012

THE first five-star hotel, operated by a cooperative in Brunei, will be developed in two-year's time.

Koperasi Rimbun Berhad (KOPRI) is going ahead with its plans to open up more employment opportunities to local jobseekers.

KOPRI is currently in the process of finalising a joint venture agreement with a local developer and improving the architectural design of the hotel, Dato Paduka Seri Hj Abd Rahman Hj Awang Besar told reporters yesterday.

The proposed seven-storey hotel, to be built on 1.5 acre land, will be strategically located near the Brunei International Airport and the cooperative's office at BT Hj Uthman Complex in Serusop, he added.

"Actually we've been looking into many areas of businesses. We look for joint ventures with overseas companies as well (and) the main thing is this one. The biggest project is this hotel," he said during an interview following a certificate presentation ceremony held for three exemplary staff at the cooperative's office yesterday.

"Actually it is in the process now. We have plans already, but we are improving, with some additional rooms and what not."

Dato Paduka Hj Abd Rahman shared that the key features of the hotel will include a tennis court on the top floor, a food court and a swimming pool while offices and commercial shops will also be made available.

"Even though it is a five-star property, the price will be reasonable because we want to cater to everybody," he added.

He said that the cooperative would also consider incorporating Islamic elements into the design of the building and provide facilities that would cater to the needs of Muslim guests as well as to conform to the Malay Islamic Monarch (MIB) ideology.

Asked when will construction begin, he said: "As soon as possible. But we're still finalising the plan and agreement with the local developer. If this goes through and approved by the government, then we will start the construction."

He said that once the hotel was operational, it will be handled by a local partner whose identity could not be disclosed as of now and will create approximately 100 jobs.

The chairman conceded that the "management of hotel is not easy" and it takes people with strong travel industry experience to effectively run a hotel.

"Our aim is to create employment for locals. Not so much on trying to make big money but to create employment," he said, adding that is the cooperative's current standing policy.

"If we are able to employ them, we (can) give them salary and that means this cooperative would be able to give employment to people. Now we have over 320 personnel."

"We don't just get big projects for ourselves, it's for the people as well."

KOPRI is also looking to further diversify its businesses and is currently considering to provide courier services, Dato Paduka Hj Abd Rahman said.The Brunei Times