March 12, 1983

First Serena Hotel in Paskistan

Sarkar Mowlana Hazar Imam, during his visit to Pakistan in March, laid the foundation stone for the first Serena Hotel in Pakistan at Faisalabad, on March 12. The Serena hotel is a joint venture of the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), of which Prince Amyn Mohamed is the Chairman, and the Government of Pakistan, through the Pakistan International Airways Corporation (PIAC) and the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC).

Begum Salimah, Prince Amyn Mohamed, Punjab Governor Lt. Gen. Ghulam Jilani Khan, Federal Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sports Mr. Miaz Mohammad Arbab, Chairman PTDC Begum Viqarunissa Noor, members of Jajlis-e-Shoora and Provincial Council, high ranking civil and military personnel and elite of the city attended the ceremony. The officials of IPS (Pakistan) Ltd. and some leaders of the jamat also attended.

Mowlana Hazar Imam in his speech said that tourism development contributes a lot to the economic progress by bringing foreign exchange into a country from foreign tourists. Hazar Imam said that the Serena Hotel would be a focal point for local activities and would envourage the flow of tourists to this city - upgraded as Division on July 1, last year. He said he was committed to development of areas of Pakistan outside the major cities. The Aga Khan was all praise for the personal keenness of President Zia-ul-Haq and the Punjab Governor which made the realisation of this project a reality. (Text of speech appears elsewhere in this issue.)

Speaking on the occasion Prince Amyn Mohamed, Chairman of the IPS, maintained that this hotel would have significant affect on the social end economic condition of the city, and thanked the Ministries of Finance and Tourism and the Pakistan Banking Council for their cooperation and assistance.

Mr. Niaz Mohammad Arbab, Federal Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism at the Foundation Laying Ceremony Faisalabad Serena Hotel on March 19, 1983 said, "It is indeed a great pleasure for me to be present at the foundation laying ceremony of Faisalabad Serena Hotel. Faisalabad is an important city of Pakistan and by virtue of its location in the heart of one of the richest agricultural areas as a thriving industrial metropolis, it symbolizes the economic history of our country. It is an historic occasion for this city to witness the foundation ceremony of a project, the need for which also introduces a new concept in hotel design in Pakistan. This has been possible only because of the personal interest taken by Your Highness in the conception and finalization of this ides,

"The idea of Serena Hotels, which Your Highness has introduced in Pakistan, is worthy of praise. I have no doubt in my mind that this hotel in Faisalabad and the one at Quetta, will lead to the extension of this chain to other places in Pakistan. Moreover, it will provide a model for others to follow so that future projects will take into account the natural environment of Pakistan and its rich cultural heritage. The buildings have to blend with the natural surroundings and also to portray the cultural traditions of our land.

"Your Highness, I am grateful for your sustained interest in encouraging many projects in Pakistan. Your efforts in the promotion of education, health-care and social-welfare in Pakistan are well known. The project if Serena Hotel is yet another example of your concern for the economic and social development of Pakistan. I am quite sure that your efforts will continue in future as well for the benefit of the people. For this project we are highly grateful to you and to Prince Amyn Aga Khan who is the Chairman of Tourism Promotion Serivces (Pakistan) Ltd."

Vazir Amir Rashid, Chairman, Industrial Promotion Services (Pakistan)Ltd. at the Foundation Ceremony of Faisalabad Hetel said that "it is my privilege and honour to welcome you all to the Foundation Ceremony of "Faisalabad Serena Hotel"; which is part of the chain through which we intend to introduce the "Serena" concept to Pakistan.

"This Hotel will be one of the two to be built in the first phase of our Hotel Development Programme. The other, known as "Quetta Serena Hotel" is to be located at Quetta, in Baluchistan, where a similar Foundation Ceremony will, Inshahallah, be performed next Thursday.

"The Project comprising theses two Serena Hotels is being implemented through a separate owning Company, Tourism Promotion Services (Pakistan) Limited, better known at TPS. The owning Company is a partnership between the Government of Pakistan, represented by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Tourism Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Pakistan International Airline Corporation, on the one hand; and Industrial Promotion Services Group, known as the IPS Group, with a majority share-holding, on the other.

"It is appropriate at this stage, for me to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Chairman of TPS, has made to the concept and design of these Serena Hotels in Pakistan, as indeed he has to other Serena Hotels in East Africa.

"As Head of the Tourism Division of His Highness the Aga Khans' Secretariat in Paris, Prince Amyn has been intimately associated with his Highness's considerable touristic promotional activities around the world. This project has benefited from his wide and extensive experience accumulated over many years in the field of Hotel development. Prince Amyn has spent considerable time in touring and studying the architecture, culture and traditions of this region. He has thus been able to advise and assist our architects in developing a design which so strongly reflects the heritage of the city of Faisalabad and the region; and, at the same time, provides international standards of comfort and convenience which the businessmen and tourists expect. We wish to record our gratitude to Prince Amyn for his most valuable efforts in extending the Serena concept to these hotels.

"I also wish to record, on behalf of the Directors of IPS, our deep appreciation to His Highness the Aga Khan, whose inspiration and encouragement have resulted in this project becoming a reality today. Because of his personal interest in the project, and his abiding faith in the destiny of Pakistan, His Highness agreed to increase IPS Group's equity shareholding in the owning Company, TPS, from 37 1/2% or originally envisaged, to 75%, all to be subscribed in foreign currency; the Government agencies mentioned earlier having agreed to take the remaining 25%. His Highness also agreed the share capital of the Company should be enchanced substantially in order to reduce the burden of debt servicing.

"We have learnt over many years from Your Highness, both by direction and by personal example, to aim for the highest standards of performance. Allow me to assure Your Highness that we shall strive to achieve and maintain the highest degree of integrity, discipline and professionalism in the management of these hotels.

"It is great significance that the Foundation Ceremony of Faisalabad Serena Hotel should be performed by His Highness the Aga Khan during his Silver Jubilee visit to Pakistan. I wish to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate His Highness on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of his accession to the Imamat of the Ismaili Muslims."

the Serena Hotel will be the first 4-Star hotel in Faisalabad, boasting Rs. 130 million.

The second Serena Hotel in Pakistan will be located in Quetta, Due to heavy snow and very rough weather, Hazar Imam and his entourage, unfortunately, could not visit Quetta to lay the Foundation Stone of this hotel. Governor Baluchistan, Lt, General Rahimuddin Khan laid the Foundation Stone in Hazar Imam's absence and Vazir Amir Rashid, Chairman of IPS, read out a message on behalf of Hazar Imam.

The function was attended by high ranking Government officers, elite of the city and some of the leaders of the jamat.

Source: Islamic Mirror

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