New legislation and government reforms highlighted as drivers for growth of hospitality sector
84 hotels comprising 27,281 rooms will come online in 2018 according to the ‘Saudi Arabia Hotel Construction Overview’ report. Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Al Khobar were named as the top areas for hotel construction, with each ranking highly in the Middle East’s top ten most active cities for hospitality development.
The Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, Copthorne Hotel Makkah Jabel Omar, Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah, Millenium Hotel Jeddah and Hilton Garden Inn Al Khobar were named as the most prominent hotels to launch in 2018.
“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,” said Kamel Ajami, vice president of Operations, KSA & Levant, Hilton.
Hilton expects three new hotels to open within the Kingdom in 2018, which will add 1,500 new rooms to its footprint. Swiss-Belhotel International will also open three new hotels in the Kingdom – two in Riyadh and another in Makkah.
“Saudi Arabia is a market that is currently undersupplied in terms of hotels. 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. 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. 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,” commented Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice president, Operations & Development for the Middle East, Africa & India at Swiss-Belhotel International.