More than 80 hotels are set to open across Saudi Arabia’s major cities this year, according to a new report.
The Saudi Arabia Hotel Construction Overview report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS has revealed that 84 hotels comprising 27,281 rooms will open in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Al Khobar, which remain the busiest areas for hotel construction in the country.
Some of the expected openings include the Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, Copthorne Hotel Makkah, Jabel Omar, Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah, Millennium Hotel Jeddah, and Hilton Garden Inn Al Khobar.
Hilton has one of the largest pipeline of hotels this year, with three new hotels set to open including the DoubleTree by Hilton in Makkah’s Jabal Omar development, a midscale Hilton Garden Inn in Al Khobar, and a Hilton in Riyadh.
Kamel Ajami, vice president of operations, KSA & Levant, 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.”
The launch of these hotels is expected to add over 1,500 rooms to the company’s footprint across the country.
Additionally, Swiss-Belhotel International will open three new hotels in the Kingdom in 2018 – two in Riyadh and another debut property in the Holy City of Makkah, scheduled for later this year.
“Saudi Arabia is a market that is currently undersupplied in terms of hotels,” said Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president, operations & development for the Middle East, Africa & India, 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.”
Voivenel added that in addition to hotel construction, major transport infrastructure projects like the new airport in Jeddah and Haramain High Speed Rail Project, launching this year, will have a big impact on the growth of the kingdom’s hospitality sector in 2018.
“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 said.
Gary Williams, event director of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, explained that hospitality developments will target a wider range of travelers this year, including domestic and international business and leisure tourists, though there will be a continued focus on the holy cities driven by religious tourism.
Earlier this month, Rove Hotels also announced its entry into the Saudi Arabian market with Rove King Abdullah Economic City, its first hotel outside of the UAE.
Located in the Bay La Sun waterfront district of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), the hotel will feature 240 rooms, fitness centres for ladies and gentlemen, and a wide range of lifestyle amenities.
Construction work is anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2018 with the soft opening scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019.
“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,” Williams added.
The report was commission for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, which returns alongside co-located shows Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia from 10-12 April, 2018, at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events.