A total of 84 hotels (around 60 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s current construction pipeline of 143 hotels) comprising 27,281 rooms is expected to open this year, said a new report released ahead of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.
A major hospitality sector event in the region, The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia will run from April 10 to 12 at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events. It is co-located with Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia 2018, the kingdom’s only sourcing event dedicated to the stone and surface design industry
Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Al Khobar remain the busiest areas for hotel construction across the country, stated the new report by Tophotelprojects.
Each of these cities rank highly in the Middle East’s top ten most active cities for hospitality development, sitting third, fourth, sixth and tenth respectively, it added.
Notable hotel openings set for the kingdom in 2018 include: Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences; Copthorne Hotel Makkah, Jabel Omar; Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah; Millennium Hotel Jeddah; and Hilton Garden Inn Al Khobar.
In the report, Hilton has been identified as the brand with the most hotel developments currently underway throughout the country.
Kamel Ajami, VP Operations (Saudi Arabia & Levant region) for Hilton, said: "Saudi Arabia is one of the most important markets in this region, with new legislation and government reforms making the Kingdom more accessible than ever. It represents our largest development pipeline in the Middle East."
“We have 30 hotels currently under development in around 12 different cities and our development team is always on the lookout for new opportunities,” he stated.
This year, Hilton expects to see three new hotels open in Saudi Arabia: DoubleTree by Hilton in Makkah’s Jabal Omar development, a midscale Hilton Garden Inn in Al Khobar, and a Hilton in Riyadh.
Between them they will add over 1,500 rooms to the company’s footprint across the country, said the top official.
Swiss-Belhotel International will also open three new hotels in the kingdom in 2018 - two in Riyadh and another debut property in Makkah, scheduled for later this year.
“Saudi Arabia is a market that is currently undersupplied in terms of hotels,” remarked Laurent A. Voivenel, the senior VP (Operations & Development) for the Middle East, Africa & India at Swiss-Belhotel International.
"The tourism sector has been earmarked by the government as a key driver for growth in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy, with major initiatives to stimulate the travel and tourism industry," noted Voivenel.
"In addition to mass scale hotel construction, major transport infrastructure projects including the new airport in Jeddah and Haramain High Speed Rail Project, launching this year, will have a big impact," he stated.
"The government is also investing significantly in large-scale leisure, culture and entertainment projects. We are keen to take advantage of this massive opportunity for hospitality development," he added.
"These hospitality developments in the pipeline are being designed to cater to a wider range of travellers including domestic and international business and leisure tourists to Saudi Arabia,” commented Gary Williams, the event director of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia.
"Dubai-based Rove Hotels has just announced that construction will begin on its first hotel in the kingdom this year. The midscale, lifestyle hotel brand will cater to tech-savvy millennial travellers and will be based at King Abdullah Economic City – fast becoming the Saudi's hub for business and leisure," he noted.
"Meanwhile, major international brands are focusing on areas such as Al Khobar and Jazan City, close to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea coasts respectively, which offer access to the beach and a growing number of leisure and cultural activities," he added.-TradeArabia News Service