Several global partnerships and agreements enhancing the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia were accomplished at the Future Hospitality Summit, which concluded Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia hosted the second edition of the Future Hospitality Summit under the theme "Reimagined Horizons" on the 24th and 25th of May at Riyadh Airport Marriott Hotel.
The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) announced it signed three new management agreements with international brands to operate resorts in the first phase of development at the Red Sea destination.
Chief business officer at the Saudi Tourism Development Fund (TDF) Wahdan al-Kadi said that the project presents a significant opportunity to attract more investors to the Kingdom's tourism sector, resulting in job creation and improving the overall quality of life, and the development of tourism destinations.
TDF signed a financing agreement with Rimal al-Khobar Real Estate Company Ltd., co-owned by Retal Urban Development Co. and Assayel Arabia, to develop the first Nobu complex in the Eastern Province.
"The Saudi tourism sector is undergoing a major development drive, and we are committed to enabling private sector investors' participation and providing them with the necessary support to develop quality tourism projects across the country," noted Kadi.
He noted that the Nobu project reflects investors' confidence in the Kingdom and signals strong support for tourism development projects.
"Agreements like this are testament to the crucial role that TDF plays in advancing the Kingdom's economic diversification."
Meanwhile, the CEO of Dur Hospitality, Sultan al-Otaibi, explained that the summit helps exchange ideas and experiences between industry leaders and investors in the hospitality sector.
Otaibi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the sector is recovering after the coronavirus, which was reflected in the performance in the first quarter of this year.
He stated that the conference helped launch several investment partnerships in the industry and global operators that are in line with the requirements of the next stage, reiterating the importance of the conference's continuity in implementing the Kingdom's hospitality sustainability plans.
Otaibi expected an increase in investment in tourist villages and resorts in the Kingdom during the coming period, pointing out that demand signals a promising future for the sector in Saudi Arabia.
CEO at TRSDC John Pagano confirmed that the signing of the recent agreements is evidence of the increasing demand for opportunities in the rapidly growing tourism market in the Kingdom.
"This announcement demonstrates industry confidence in The Red Sea Project, with a total of 12 hospitality brands now confirmed, and signifies a growing appetite from global leaders to participate in expanding the Saudi tourism market. With two brands now entering the region for the first time, I believe the future of tourism in the Kingdom is bright," said Pagano.
Three renowned luxury brands will join a group of the most prominent international hospitality brands that have previously concluded agreements to manage and operate hotels in the Red Sea, most notably EDITION Hotels and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, which is part of Marriott International, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, and SLS Hotels & Residences, part of global hospitality group Accor.