* Riyadh to become busiest city for hotel construction in Saudi
* Jeddah closely follows Riyadh in hotel boom
* Rocco Forte and Nobu Hospitality opening properties in KSA for first time
The capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is preparing to add 48 properties to its already vast hotel portfolio, making it busiest city for hotel construction in the kingdom, a new report has revealed.
While it is a quite conservative city, not known to attract tourists, hotel operators must be seeing a potential for Riyadh, hence focusing their attention on it.
“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,” said Kamel Ajami, Vice President Operations KSA at Hilton.
Ajami attributes Hilton’s success in the market to providing guests with “variety” and “smart luxury”.
“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,” he adds.
The 2017 Saudi Arabia Hotel Construction Overview report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS, found that Jeddah closely follows Riyadh in the hotel boom, revealing that 170 hotels and 60,395 rooms are currently in various stages of the construction pipeline.
Saudi Vision 2030
International brands such as Hilton have been following through after the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030 last year. New players including Rocco Forte and Nobu Hospitality are opening properties in the Kingdom for the first time, while others are expanding their footprint across the country.
Nobu Hotel Riyadh will be launching later this year, and is already promising a unique experience for travellers to the city.
General manager Simon A Fricker says the property will be the “first five-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, which will offer “an array of innovative dining opportunities” across its three new eateries, including the world-renowned Nobu restaurant.
“Riyadh is an important city in the Middle East for future business, tourism, leisure and hospitality. The government, according to Saudi Vision 2030, aims to develop all areas in Riyadh as the Kingdom’s capital city, with major developments including the Riyadh Metro and King Abdullah Financial Center. Riyadh is now directed to entertain citizens, tourists and foreign residents to encourage local and foreign investors,” Fricker said.