The African country of Senegal may have to sell its biggest hotel complex in order to pay debts. The five-star hotel was originally built and financed by the Saudi monarch King Fahd for the Islamic Conference summit in 1993 but is now operated as part of Starwood's Meridien brand. The hotel hosted a second Islamic Conference summit last year. After that summit the government found $147 million in unbudgeted spending and that it owed millions of dollars worth of debts to local businesses. Senegal's president, Abdoulaye Wade promised last fall to repay those debts by the end of January but many are still outstanding. Reuters reports that France agreed to lend Senegal 125 million euros to help pay off the debts and the International Monetary Fund offered a $75.6 million, one-year funding deal from its Exogenous Shocks Facility to help offset the rise in energy and food prices. It seems to have not been enough, a public tender published in Senegalese newspapers yesterday offered up the hotel complex to local or foreign investors.
The hotel is said to be one of the finest hotels in West Africa. It is perched on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean and offers water sports, deep-sea fishing, golf and tennis. Rates start around 200 euros a night.