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The Saudi Arabia Hotel investment conference

With 40,020 rooms across 89 projects in the construction pipeline, Saudi Arabia currently has the largest number of hotel rooms under construction in the MENA region

Under the theme “Focus on the Future”, the Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference taking place at the Marriott Hotel in Riyadh on 26 February will address what the current social and economic transformation underway in the kingdom will mean for its hospitality sector and present industry insights into how to capitalize on hospitality investment opportunities in the kingdom. Organized by Bench Events and Dur Hospitality, the conference will open with HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud providing valuable insight into Vision 2030 – the mindset, the masterplan and how the kingdom is building a sustainable platform for growth. This will be followed by Gerald Lawless the Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council and Anita Mendiratta, Founder & President of Cachet Consulting leading a discussion on how Saudi Arabia can develop a destination with world-class offerings that will match the best in the region. Other sessions throughout the day will address the thoughts and goals of the region’s hospitality leaders, market supply and demand, upcoming infrastructure projects, domestic tourism and investment opportunities. The conference is expected to attract around 300 hotel investors, owners, developers and operators.

The conference program will also feature data from STR whose latest Pipeline Report reveals that Saudi Arabia currently has 40,020 rooms across 89 projects in the construction pipeline, the largest number of hotel rooms under construction in the Middle East and North Africa. According to a forecast by MEED Projects the total value of hospitality investment projects in Saudi Arabia stands at $1.9 billion. Dr Badr Al Badr, CEO of Dur Hospitality and host sponsor of the conference believes the Saudi economy will witness a positive shift in the coming years when the government executes the recently announced initiatives bolstering confidence in tourism investments. “The public private partnerships drive in Saudi Arabia is presenting new opportunities to attract investment into hospitality,” said Al Badr.”Following the announcement of the KSA Vision 2030, a more attractive investment environment is opening the doors for private investors into new areas of the Saudi Arabian economy. This creates significant opportunities for hotel investors. A large percentage of Saudi Arabia’s hotel pipeline focuses on the holy cities as economists are anticipating 30 million religious tourists by 2025. But hotel development will also be prompted by non-religious destinations, cultural cities and archaeological sites.” According to the Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs, tourism’s contribution to gross domestic product is expected to increase from the current 3.5% to over 10% by 2030.