Leading property developer Omniyat Real Estate has inked a management agreement with Swiss-Belhotel International to operate two new properties in Kuwait.
Both Swiss-Belboutique Bneid Al Gar and Swiss-Belresidences Al Sharq are under development and are expected to open in 2018.
Laurent A Voivenel, Swiss-Belhotel International’s senior vice president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India, said: “We are very proud to debut the Swiss-Belboutique and Swiss-Belresidences brands in Kuwait that is one of the key growth markets for us in the GCC. The hospitality Industry in the country is witnessing a remarkable growth at the moment and we are truly grateful to Omniyat Real Estate for having given us this great opportunity.”
The steady growth of tourism in Kuwait, with a vision to welcome 440,000 visitors annually by 2024 is fuelling demand for quality hotels. Dr Abdullah Abdulsamad Marafi, owner and general manager, Omniyat Real Estate, said: “We are very pleased to partner with a reputed operator like Swiss-Belhotel International who is well-placed to meet the needs of the domestic market in accordance with the best international standards. Both Swiss-Belboutique Bneid Al Gar and Swiss-Belresidences Al Sharq are being developed for discerning domestic and international travelers looking for world-class accommodation in Kuwait.”
Gavin M Faull, chairman and president of Swiss-Belhotel International, said: “It is the perfect time for us to enter Kuwait when the country is evolving into a multi-faceted destination with the development of diverse attractions for both corporate and leisure visitors. This has significantly pushed the demand for quality hotels and represents a brilliant opportunity for Swiss-Belhotel International to grow our footprint in the country. We are confident both Swiss-Belboutique Bneid Al Gar and Swiss-Belresidences Al Sharq will add tremendous value to our growing presence in the region while further strengthening our international portfolio.”
Swiss-Belboutique Bneid Al Gar will be a comfortable and stylish address for both business and leisure travellers offering a home-away-from-home experience. Featuring 58 rooms equipped with top-notch facilities, the hotel enjoys an exceptional location in Kuwait City with no other international hotel brand having a presence in the area. Included in its facilities will be a multiple choice of leisure and recreation facilities such two superb restaurants, lobby café, spa, health club and swimming pool.
Swiss-Belresidences Al Sharq will serve as a great base for corporate travellers being strategically located in the business district near Souq Sharq. It will offer guests a choice of 68 one- and two-bedroom hotel apartments with fully-equipped kitchen facilities. The hotel will also feature an all-day-dining restaurant, a deli corner in the lobby, kids club and a swimming pool.
Kuwait is pressing ahead with multiple plans to boost tourism that will see billions of dollars being invested in projects such as the expansion of Kuwait International Airport, reaching 25 million passenger capacity annually by 2025; and development of cultural attractions like Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Islamic Centre.
According to figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism investment in Kuwait is set to rise 1.5 per cent per annum over the next 10 years to KD135.6 million ($445.9) in 2027. Performance is forecast for strong recovery in 2017 with continued growth until 2026, reaching values of KD501.3 million ($1.6 billion).
Corporate travellers accounted for 70 per cent of total visitor arrivals in Kuwait in 2016. However, Kuwait is actively working to diversify its guest segmentation in order to secure the projected levels of growth over the coming years. Leisure travel spending is expected to rise by 4.5 per cent per annum reaching KD1.939 billion ($6.3 billion) in 2026, following an annual growth rate of 8.7 per cent.
Laurent said: “We expect to see a corresponding diversification in hotel stock as more leisure, health and wellness tourists discover the country’s unique offerings. With 14 trusted brands, we cater to every market segment and are eager to capitalise on Kuwait’s growth trajectory.”