Riyadh leads hotel development in Saudi with 50 projects
17 March 2017
Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s busiest city for hotel construction with almost 50 hotel projects underway, according to a report. The 2017 Saudi Arabia Hotel Construction Overview report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS, prepared for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, found that the Kingdom’s capital city is preparing to add 48 new properties to its already vast hotel portfolio. Riyadh leads the hotel boom closely followed by Jeddah. Across the country, the report reveals that 170 hotels and 60,395 rooms are currently in various stages of the construction pipeline.
Hilton is noted as one of the top hotel operators in the country. Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences is one of three new hotels the brand will bring to the Kingdom in 2017. Kamel Ajami, vice president (KSA operations) at Hilton, said: “Our presence in Saudi Arabia goes back over 20 years. We have ambitious plans for expansion with up to 29 hotels in the pipeline and by the end of 2018, I expect to oversee double the number of hotels than I do at present.” Ajami attributes Hilton’s success in the market to providing guests with “variety” and “smart luxury.”
He said: “Each of our properties has its own distinct features and identity which enables us to meet a variety of customer needs and outperform the market. “As a company, we have invested heavily in digital innovation. Each of our hotels in Saudi Arabia is enabled with digital check-in and the facility to choose your preferred room via our Hilton Honors app.” He explained: “This feature has been commonplace in the airline world for some time, but we are pioneering in our own industry. Ultimately we are working toward providing guests with the ability to use their smartphones as their physical room keys which is again an industry first.”
Following the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030, international brands are following Hilton’s example by expanding their footprint across the country. New players including Rocco Forte and Nobu Hospitality are opening properties in the Kingdom for the first time. Nobu Hotel Riyadh, launching later this year, is already promising a unique experience for travellers to the city. Simon A. Fricker, general manager, said the property would be the “first 5-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” offering “an array of innovative dining opportunities” across its three new eateries, including the Nobu restaurant.
© Arab News 2017