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Turkish Companies Invest in 5-Star Hotel in Dagestan

Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.

Turkish companies are planning to build a five-star hotel complex in Makhachkala, the capital of Russia's restive southern region of Dagestan, at a price of more than $100 million.

Named Sarir after a medieval kingdom that once resided in the mountains of present-day Dagestan, the five-star complex will contain a 250-room hotel, a 2,000-seat conference center and therapeutic baths that can receive up to 150 patients a day, according to a statement on the republic of Dagestan's website.

It will also boast an an 18-hole golf course "of an international level," the statement said.

A Turkish delegation traveled to Dagestan for a meeting Monday with the republic's head, Ramazan Abdulatipov, who during the meeting underscored the value of Turkish investors' experience in establishing top-class tourism facilities in their own country.

Dagestan, a region mired in corruption and reliant on subsidies from Moscow, plays host to a simmering Islamic insurgency that has spilled over into other Russian regions, with terrorists striking targets as far away as Moscow. But despite periodic bombings and gunfights between insurgents and security forces, Makhachkala is bustling with new businesses.

"We need modern businesses, hotels, resorts. Everything must meet the global, modern level. In this regard you have immense experience, and we are counting on our Turkish friends. Welcome, Dagestan is ready for fruitful cooperation with you," Abdulatipov said.

According to the statement, a number of Turkish companies including Business Organization International, Golf International, Kaya Izmir Thermal, Balcova Thermal Hotel and more have shown interest in the project, which is anticipated to cost a total of $104 million.

Loans will be taken out for construction of the complex, which is expected to turn a profit in about eight years time.

"In nearby Azerbaijan we began 20 years ago with far worse conditions than here. A lot has already been done there. And in Dagestan the conditions are better from the start, we see a strong desire, a high level of support, Dagestani hospitality," the statement quoted one Turkish investor as saying.

Construction will began this September, with the opening planned for June 2016. The spas and golf course are expected to open earlier.

The hotel's future employees will be sent to study their profession in five-star hotels in Dagestan and Turkey, the statement said.

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