Earlier this month, the hotelâ€™s developer, Palestinian investment company Padico decided to finally open it. The company, controlled by politically independent billionaire Munib al-Masri, hopes to recover at least some of its costs and hopes that Gazaâ€™s knotty problems may finally be solved in the coming years.
â€œIts risky â€” but we need to have a change in Gaza,â€ said public relations manager Shadi Agha.
For now, the risk is not paying off. There are no foreign tourists in Gaza, just a handful of Western aid officials who pass through.
Only 80 rooms are even available. Management doesnâ€™t want to spend on maintenance for the remaining rooms, Agha said. Early this month, there were just 10 guests in the entire hotel, though the royal suite, at $880 a night, was occupied.
The guests ranged from international aid officials to a honeymooning Gaza couple who wanted to go somewhere nice, Agha said. He wouldnâ€™t identify them further or say who was in the royal suite.