CityBlue Opens in South Sudan and Tanzania


Openings in July 2023

 Date: 13 June 2023

CityBlue Hotels, Africa’s fastest-growing local hotel chain, is pleased to announce the signing of management agreements and the commencement of operations from July 2023 of the CityBlue Panorama Hotel & Suites, Juba, South Sudan and Urban by CityBlue, Masaki, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The CityBlue Panorama Hotel & Suites in Juba is a 72-key property upscale mid-market property located in the airport zone in Juba, South Sudan while Urban by CityBlue in Dar es Salaam is a boutique 65-key lifestyle property with a rooftop restaurant.

Andat Ghidey, director of the development company owning the CityBlue Panorama Hotel & Suites, said that CityBlue Hotels has developed a defined strategy of covering all East African markets, making it a natural partner to expand alongside. “CityBlue has a clear and distinguished history in East Africa – with properties in every city. Juba is the only market it is yet to penetrate. We will support CityBlue in the South Sudanese market across rooms, food, beverage and conferencing”.

Khalil Hamadi, director of the property company behind Urban by CityBlue, Dar es Salaam, said that CityBlue had worked closely with its partners in Tanzania since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and he strongly believes that the business plan will now turn into reality. “Every member of CityBlue understands their role and we are almost ready to turn this partnership into a new dawn for the hotel market on the peninsula of Dar es Salaam”.

Jameel Verjee, Founder & CEO of CityBlue Hotels, said “Our homework has been done and we have a fantastic team which understands African hospitality. We are focused on results – in terms of occupancy, rates, ESG targets, customer satisfaction, stakeholder support and human resource development. Juba and Dar es Salaam are two exciting markets and we proud to have such partners”.


CityBlue was founded by Jameel Verjee in 2013 as an African-born brand which he has developed from inception. Having opened the first CityBlue hotel in Rwanda in 2013, CityBlue has now expanded across eight major cities in East Africa, following a path to create one of the leading multi-jurisdictional African hotel chains. It is anticipated that by end-2024, CityBlue will have added to its existing portfolio with hotels across seven African countries and approximately 2,000 keys. 

CityBlue’s portfolio features the following sub-brands: Urban by CityBlue in the business boutique space, Residences by CityBlue for long-stay guests, CityBlue Hotel & Suites in the business budget space and the CityBlue Collection for charming hotels that maintain their identity. A new venture called c3 was launched in 2023 as a smart hosting and property management company for the sub-Saharan African market. 


The Diar Group, a UAE-based office established by the Verjee family, includes a hospitality arm called Diar Hospitality, a hotel management company. The operations of CityBlue Hotels, its African-born hotel chain, are managed by Diar Hospitality.

The Diar Group is also engaged in cultural heritage and philanthropy in East Africa.

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