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Bomas hotels called off for lack of public backing

An ambitious project involving the construction of five hotels, a shopping mall and an international convention and exhibition centre at the Bomas of Kenya has been called off.

The government, through the East Africa Community, Commerce and Tourism ministry was set to put up one seven-star presidential hotel, a  five-star, a four-star and two three-star hotels within the next three years through public-private-partnership.

However, lack of public consultation and participation led to the cancellation of the project after a human rights organisation, Katiba Institute, led by Constitutional lawyer Prof Yash Pal Ghai, queried the project.

Occupying 13.5 acres, the proposed seven-star presidential hotel was to  have six presidential villas each approximately occupying 10,000 square metres and located in a garden.

The hotel was to have 27 presidential suites, 31 ministerial suites, 400 guest rooms, banquet and conference facilities, various restaurants, health spa, gymnasium and swimming pool.

The five-star hotel was to stand on five acres, with 550 guest rooms among which there would be four presidential suites, 10 ministerial suites, 50 normal suites that were to be balanced as normal guest rooms and other requirements of an international five-star hotel.

The four-star hotel was to occupy 3.5 acres and was to have 350 guest rooms with one presidential suite, 70 suites and normal rooms and  facilities.

The two three-star hotels which were both to occupy 3.2 acres, were to have 200 guest rooms each.

There was also to be a shopping mall, which was to occupy 5.8 acres with a minimum of 250,000 square feet and was to be a lifestyle mall with  restaurants, coffee shops, bars, a dedicated cultural market with small stalls, a large children’s entertainment centre and a large youth entertainment centre.

The mall was also to have a food court, other shops and banks.

The design, construction and commissioning of all the projects was to take a maximum of three years with the lead architect overseeing the construction of the hotels on behalf of the government.

Then there was to be the Bomas international convention and exhibition centre, which was to occupy 34 acres and was to have a large 10,000 square exhibition hall divisible into six exhibition spaces that could function totally independent.

The centre was to have proper ventilation and lighting as a multipurpose centre with one space for large conferences of up to 15,000 people.bomas.