Baghdad's Only Luxury Hotel: The Corel Boutique

It is the first one. A sign of things to come or a fluke? Rising out of the war torn city of Baghdad, still rife with danger, the Corel Boutique luxury hotel opened in August, 2012. If you ever happened to vacation in sunni Iraq, staying there will cost $300 a night. For the city, it is a beautiful six story building with blue glass and security guards all around. The bellboys are imported, like everything else about the hotel. In this case, they came from Uganda. Iraq has now become a greater oil producer than Iran and has an annual budget of $119 billion, $42 billion is slated for new infrastructure projects.

Across the Tigris River is a new $100 million shopping mall with American fried chicken and pizza franchises. The hotel was built only by making bribes to several government officials and took two years and $13 million. According to a recent study, corruption is Iraq's new enemy as $800 million is siphoned out of the country WEEKLY! The construction of the hotel required importing many experts and workers with skills, importing materials that did not always match or work. Because of the sporadic electricity in the city, the hotel has three generators for its 82 rooms. Most of the staff is not Iraqi, even though the unemployment is 25% there, because most know little about hotel operations. So, most of the hotel staff are Indian who had worked on US bases in Iraq before they closed.

The hotel is situated in the heart of Baghdad in Jadriya area (the main road of Baghdad University) merely 5 km from Green Zone, the city’s key attractions such as the National Theatre, the National Museum, the Latin Church and Aaras Tourist Village. The airport is 30 km.

But, really, how many will vacation in Iraq?

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