It was announced today that construction works of the Four Seasons Hotel have been completed and that the Hotel will officially open next summer. There has been a lot of controversy in Damascus about the Hotel, which is 65% owned by the Saudi Billionaire Al-Walid Bin Talal, 17% by the Governorate of Damascus and 17% by the Ministry of Tourism:
( - ) Many feel that the building's design does not fit the area. Towering in Shukri Al-Quwatli Street and overlooking Barada River and the historic Tekiyyeh Mosque, the huge block of glass and marble now dominates the skyline of central Damascus. Some have complained about the fact that the hotel consumed a large part of Al-Menshieh Park and surrounded the eight-century-old dome covering the tomb of Faroukh Shah, the nephew of Saladin.
( + ) This is going to be the largest hotel in Syria and the first five-star hotel to be opened in Damascus in nearly 2 decades. In addition, the new Hotel occupies an advantageous "strategic" site in the heart of Damascus. It will boost the tourist industry in the country and create an atmosphere of competition that will result in better tourist services. The building looks great, especially when lit at night; it gives a touch of modernity to the center of the nation's capital, the home to an estimated 5 million people.