Hilton has revealed plans to add more than 10,000 hotel rooms in Saudi Arabia over the next 3-5 years.
The hotel chain said at the Saudi Hotel Investment Conference that it is expanding its footprint throughout the region with the kingdom having the largest number of Hilton hotels in development.
Carlos Khneisser, VP of Development, MENA for Hilton, said: “We’ve been operating the kingdom since 1992 and have grown very strong relationships with owners over that time. This has allowed us to grow to 11 hotels and notably to build a pipeline of 35 new hotels under development, which will add over 10,000 new rooms in the coming 3-5 years.
“This represents our largest pipeline in the Middle East and the confidence we have in the strength of the market with increasing demand for business, leisure and religious tourism.”
Religious tourism makes up the bulk of Saudi tourism with over 2 million visitors annually. Over the past 3 years business tourism is growing at an increasing rate, he added.
The tourism sector in Saudi Arabia has grown at a much faster rate than the wider economy, according reports by the Saudi Tourism Information and Research Centre, with tourism revenues rising from SR57.3 billion in 2004 to an estimated SR211 million in 2018.
Hilton said it is confirming three new additions to its Saudi pipeline in the shape of newly agreed projects with two different investment partners – DoubleTree by Hilton Abha Al Murooj in partnership with Mazaya International Company for Real Estate Development and Investment and Hilton Garden Inn Madinah and DoubleTree by Hilton Madinah in partnership with Pan Kingdom Holdings.
DoubleTree By Hilton Abha Al Murooj represents the first hotel by an international chain to open in the city of Abha, the capital of the Aseer province – home to wildlife, forests and the towering Jabal Soodah peak. The hotel is expected to open in two years, bringing 156 new hotel rooms.
DoubleTree by Hilton Madinah will consist of 242 guestrooms including 26 suites and is expected to open in 2022 while Hilton Garden Inn Madinah, also expected to open in 2022, will feature 430 rooms.