East Delhi just got a bit more hip. The area, disparagingly known as ‘Jamna Paar’, got a makeover during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. It now offers a brand new hospitality district.
The Shahdara Central Business District, which has been developed by the Delhi Development Authority, now boasts of international five-star hotel chains such as Kempinski Ambience hotel, Holiday Inn and Park Plaza.These islands of luxury abut both middle-class areas such as Surajmal Vihar and Bahubali Enclave and the squalid houses of Jhilmil Colony and Arjun Nagar.
Kempinski Ambience hotel is opening next month along with the nearby Park Plaza. Holiday Inn is in the last stages of completion while Ginger hotel, on the other side of the road, is already up and running.
They offer all luxurious amenities as their counterparts in south or central Delhi. But will guests be tempted to stay at Shahdara? “People are moving out of Delhi as hotels don’t have space to accommodate big gatherings. We have conference facilities for 5,000 people with parking space for 1,500 cars,” said Vella Ramasawmy, general manager, Kempinski Ambience Hotel.
He said there are many people in east Delhi and the nearby Ghaziabad who crave for facilities such as spas, hairdressing salons and lifestyle restaurants but are forced to travel to Noida.
“We are offering the same luxury but at less than half the price,” said Siddharth Chaudhry, general manager, Park Plaza. Both Chaudhry and Ramasawmy believe there is a huge captive market in east Delhi and Ghaziabad. They also expect business visitors from industrial areas in Patparganj and Sahibabad.
“South and central Delhi have no scope for growth; Gurgaon has got its share and Noida is the next big thing. East Delhi may not have a ‘hip’ perception but it is a sitting spending power,” said Akshay Kulkarni, regional director (Hospitality) South and Southeast Asia, Cushman and Wakefield.