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Shangri-La to Refurbish Yangon Property as Hotel Demand Surges

Shangri-La Asia Ltd., the hospitality group owned by billionaire Robert Kuok, said it plans to refurbish its Traders Hotel in Myanmar, where United Nations offices occupy five floors.

The hotel informed the UN of its plans to renovate the Yangon property in early 2012 and also extended the lease at the end of August 2012 by another year as the “utmost assistance” in helping the agency move its offices, according to Greg Dogan, president and chief executive officer of Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd.

“Traders Hotel, Yangon and the United Nations have been long-term business partners, and both parties continue to enjoy an amicable and professional working relationship,” Dogan, who heads the group’s hotel management unit, said in an e-mailed response to queries.

More tourists are visiting Myanmar after President Thein Sein allowed more political freedom since coming to power two years ago, leading to the easing of sanctions by countries including the U.S. The Hong Kong-based company will open its Shangri-La Residence serviced apartments in Yangon later this year, as well as a Shangri-La-branded hotel in the city in 2017, according to its website.

Traders Hotel in Yangon will undergo a refurbishment after more than 16 years, Dogan said.

The UN, which leased five floors of the property since 2007, said it’s moving out next month because the city’s hotel rates are surging and rising demand from tourists “makes it more profitable for the hotel to get back to its initial purpose” of catering to travelers.

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