Shiites from all over the world are keen to visit Najaf and if security returns to Iraq the city is expected to see a boom in tourist industry.
There is a sizeable Shiite community in Lebanon but the community’s members have so far avoided the city for security reasons.
Khazaali made the remarks following what he said was “a successful visit” a provincial delegation made to Lebanon recently.
He said Lebanese tourist entrepreneurs affirmed that they would rush to invest in the cities of Najaf and Karbala, another holy Shiite city in Iraq once stability returns to the country.
“They (the entrepreneurs) have agreed to set up an institute of tourism and hotel management in the city,” he said.
Khazaali said Najaf airport was almost ready and should be able to accommodate scheduled flights once it is inaugurated.
He said the delegation has already signed a deal for the construction of three hotels and another deal for the building of three factories.
The news of the Lebanese offer to invest in Najaf comes amid escalating sectarian tensions which have so far claimed at least 160 lives, raising fears of a civil.(Source)Saadoun al-Jaberi, Azzaman