x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Hyatt to double the number of hotels it operates in Saudi Arabia

Hyatt is planning to open three more hotels in Saudi Arabia, bringing the number of properties it has under development in the kingdom up to six.

Hyatt is planning to open three more hotels in Saudi Arabia, bringing the number of properties it has under development in the kingdom up to six.

The luxury operator yesterday announced that a Hyatt affiliate had signed agreements with Naseel Holding for a Park Hyatt hotel in Riyadh, and a Hyatt Regency and a Grand Hyatt in Jeddah.

"They are mainly business hotels," said Thierry Bertin, the vice president of worldwide sales for Hyatt South West Asia.

"There's really a lot of projects happening in Saudi. There's a lot of office buildings, a lot of new residential complexes, city infrastructure is changing, building conventions centres."

The hotels are scheduled to open in 2015 and 2016.

Average room rates in Jeddah increased by 6.9 per cent last year to US$203.51 (Dh747.51) compared with the previous year, while in Riyadh they rose 6.6 per cent to $271.67, according to data from STR Global, a hotel research firm in London.

There is one Hyatt hotel open in Saudi Arabia, the Park Hyatt Jeddah.

Hyatt last May announced plans to operate three hotels as part of the long-delayed Jabal Omar project, which overlooks the Grand Mosque in Meccah.

Other operators are also focusing heavily on Saudi Arabia.

Hilton Worldwide is on an aggressive expansion path in the kingdom, with six hotels under development in the Jabal Omar project.

Hilton currently has six hotels in operation in the kingdom and plans for 14 others, including the six being developed in Jabal Omar.

Ritz-Carlton opened its first hotel in Saudi Arabia in the fourth quarter of last year.

Plans were also announced this week for an indoor "snow village" in a mall in Riyadh.

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development, the developer of Alqasr Mall in Riyadh, has signed an agreement with Al Othaim, which will lease space in the shopping centre to create the snow attraction. No further information has been given on the "snow village", but observers have already drawn comparisons with Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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