Olympian Haile Gebreselassie has inaugurated his latest addition to his collection of hotels, now numbered seven, in the City of Adama. This comes as two of his hotels in Batu (Zeway) and Shashemene were recently destroyed undermining his determination to build two dozen hotels by 2025.

“I want the local residents to see these hotels as theirs and to be seen as a way of creating needed jobs. We have 3,500 people working for us in various divisions of our company and these people depend on us and we hope they will also welcome us as a good corporate leaders in the community,” he said at a press conference held on Thursday.

The new hotel built at a cost of 500 million birr has 106 rooms, two restaurants, a gym, swimming pool and personal care center and has created more than 300 jobs.

“I used to drive from Addis Ababa to Arba Minch every 15 days, to be inspired and see all the developments; and since the unrest, I have avoided it. We have to begin to see our future within Ethiopia and not elsewhere. As a reminder, we have to see what is happening to our people in South Africa and Saudi Arabia and try to find out a footing at home”, he added.

The legendary athlete also confirmed, he intends to rebuild his two locations, more urgently the Batu location, as long as the government can guarantee security in the area. He has estimated the damages in the hundreds of millions of birr.

Haile is also set to inaugurate another hotel in Wolayta Sodo within a year, in addition to ones in Konso and one in Addis Ababa that is being described as “upper scale which is a five star standard hotel”.

Haile also said, he will authorize his signature to other hotels in a partnership deal with others and offer management for others. This comes as he reviews opportunities in neighboring nations.

“We are conscious of the fact, in other nations; the competition is stiff with international players at hand. But we will continue to study our prospects and if opportunities avail themselves, we will take advantage of them carefully,” he concluded.