Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has opened its five-star Four Seasons Beirut hotel, as the Lebanese city's hospitality sector continues to grow. The 230 room hotel, in which KHI has a controlling 38 per cent stake, opened its doors on Sunday and was expected to cost US$146 million (Dh536.25m). The Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud founded KHI and is its majority shareholder.
Beirut's hotel industry has shown rapid improvement from depressed levels as political stability improved. Hotels in Beirut had occupancy levels of 71.2 per cent in the 11 months to November of last year, representing an increase of 33 per cent from the same period in 2008, STR Global reported. The city's revenue per available room, which is the key industry indicator, increased by 73.8 per cent to $143.84 in November.
"Beirut has enjoyed a resurgence in travel," said Sarmad Zok, the chief executive of KHI. KHI now has eight Four Seasons hotels in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and Asia, and will open another in Morocco next year. KHI also owns the Movenpick Beirut, which it says has experienced a notable improvement last year. KHI has holdings in 26 properties in 18 countries, comprising 22 hotels and resorts as well as four hotels and resorts under construction or in the initial stages of development.