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Basra hotels welcome influx of investors

As the oil sector booms and security improves, companies are setting up shop in Basra's budding luxury hotels.
A view of the courtyard of the Basra International Hotel. (BEN VAN HEUVELEN/Iraq Oil Report)

From an oil company’s perspective, Basra can inspire optimistic exuberance. But among the sobering logistical questions any foreign business must ask before entering this promising market, the most basic one is: where to stay?

Until recently, most foreigners had to stay on the Contingency Operating Base (COB) near the airport, a sprawling maze of concrete blast walls and pre-fabricated structures planted in the desert and guarded by American and British forces. There, executives live in trailers — containerized housing units, or CHUs, in military speak — and endure long commutes in armored convoys.

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