Shangri-La Asia is to open a seven-star hotel, The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, as part of its expansion plan, at Galle Face, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The $500m, 500-room property will be a multi-use complex with retail facilities and deluxe apartments, and is expected to open in early 2014.

The Hong Kong-based hotel group also plans to open a second property of 300 rooms in the southern coastal city of Hambantota, which is expected to be completed in 2013.

“Both Shangri-La hotels strategically fit into the group’s ongoing expansion plans to link the Indian subcontinent and our South East Asia developments,” said Shangri-La International Hotel Management’s president and chief executive Greg Dogan.

The group owns and manages 70 hotels under the Shangri-La brand and plans to open hotel properties in Austria, Canada, mainland China, India, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Mongolia, Russia, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the UK.