11 heritage hotels open in Damascus Old City

20:16, April 22, 2010      

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Eleven heritage hotels opened to the public in Damascus Old City on Thursday, the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA reported.

Dozens of ancient-fashion Damascene houses have been turned into heritage hotels and restaurants in the past decade. The Damascene house is typical of oriental architecture which looks solid and sealed off from the outside, but inside all rooms look on spacious open courtyard with trees and a fountain in the center.

The process comes within a project aimed to restore and rehabilitate a number of old Damascene houses to keep their ancient architectural aspects without any change.

The project which costs 22 million U.S. dollars intends to maintain the tourist attraction of Damascus as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited city, SANA said.

Saadallah Agha al-Qalaa, the Syrian tourism minister, has said that the tourists' number has increased 71 percent in comparison with the year 2009, pointing out that Syria will witness important tourist investment project in the year, earlier reports said.

Al-Qalaa said that these projects give a chance for millions of tourists to get acquainted with Damascus' heritage.

In a statement released on April 15, the Syrian tourism minister said that Syria occupies the third position in the world tourism growth due to canceling visas with some countries such as Turkey and Iran and enhancing relationships with Arab and foreign countries.

Source: Xinhua


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