Global hotel operators keen to open and expand their branches in Saudi Arabia

Published on : Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Saudi ArabiaWith Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman bringing about a lot of reforms and opening up the conservative kingdom for tourists, hotel operators from east and west are keen on spreading their branches in the biggest Gulf state. Saudi Arabia aims to attract guests with desert safari tours and entertainment.

The green-white flag of Saudi Arabia, with population of 32.5 million, is visible at every corner of the ongoing 25th edition of the tourism fair Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which started in Dubai on Sunday with 2,500 international exhibitors in attendance.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), known for brands like Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, said that it signed a master development agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Al Hokair Group to build 10 hotels in the next 15 years.

As the largest hospitality operator in Saudi Arabia, IHG is operating 14,000 rooms across the kingdom. Four of the top 10 hotel projects in Gulf countries are based in Saud Arabia, with all hospitality projects in the region valued at 147.1 billion U.S. dollars.

The kingdom would issue individual tourism visas for the first time.

Launched in spring of 2016, Vision 2030 for Saudi Arabia aims to transform one of the world’s biggest oil producers into a diversified economy based on a thriving private sector.
Saudi’s capital Riyadh, the Red Sea metropolis Jeddah, the Persian Gulf large city Al-Khobar and the Islamic holiest city Mecca are the prime target locations for hotel operators to expand their hotel chains.

Mecca, however, can only be visited by Muslims as the city hosts the holiest mosque in Islam.

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