The owners of the 'most secure suite in the world' at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, currently hosting Prime Minister Modi on his three-day diplomatic visit to Israel, are likely to open their doors in India soon.
Dan Hotels Israel, the luxury hotel conglomerate that owns King David Hotel, has ventured outside the Middle East for the first time with a property in Bengaluru. The venture was announced in May last year. Raffi Sadeh, CEO of Dan Hotels, told PTI that after Bangalore, the company will explore opportunities in other Indian cities as well. In May this year, a senior Dan Hotels executive told PTI that the 230-room luxury property, which cost the company about $50 million to set up, would be operational by July, if all went well and the regulatory requirements were met.
The Presidential Suite of the King David Hotel is famous for its surveillance and security. According to a report in the Economic Times, the suite is secured against bomb and chemical attacks. The windows of the suite are made of bullet and rocket-proof glass and it has an independent air-conditioning unit to protect against gas poisoning. Every member of the hotel staff is vetted by Israel's Shin Bet security service. A total of 110 rooms in the hotel were reserved for the Indian delegation. Sheldon Ritz, the director of operations of King David Hotel, who is in charge of Modi's visit, told TOI that, "If the entire hotel is bombed, PM's suite will be untouched, will come down in a pod."
The dogged attention to security on the hotel's part is not misplaced, given its volatile location—Jerusalem is at the heart of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In 1946, the hotel was bombed by the Irgun, a Zionist militant group, killing 91 people. The hotel had to be almost entirely rebuilt and since then, it has become a concrete and steel fortress.
The suite has hosted a string of heads of states such as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and, last month, Donald Trump.