Hilton Hotels Corporation has entered into a non-exclusive Strategic Development Agreement (SDA) with the Abdulmohsen Al-Hokair Group for Tourism and Development, with the potential to deliver 13 Hilton Garden Inn properties (comprising 2,500 rooms). These properties, which will be managed by Hilton, will be in key locations across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The first property is anticipated to open in 2009 in Riyadh.
This landmark agreement marks the entry of the first Hilton Garden Inn, the Hilton Family’s focused service brand, in the Middle East and Africa region. Over the next five years, Hilton and Al Hokair plan to introduce Hilton Garden Inn hotels across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in locations such as Riyadh, Al Khobar, Dammam, Jubail, King Abdullah Economic City, Taif, Abha, Tabuk, Hail/Buraydah and Yanbu.
“The full spectrum of the Hilton Family of hotels gives us tremendous opportunities for growth in all global markets. We are delighted to have signed our first multi-unit Hilton Garden Inn agreement in the Middle East with the Al Hokair Group in Saudi Arabia. This agreement is a testament to the country’s tremendous growth potential,” said Jean-Paul Herzog, President, Hilton Hotels, Middle East & Africa.
Adrian Kurre, senior vice president - brand management for Hilton Garden Inn, commented, “As Hilton Garden Inn continues its remarkable growth in countries around the world, we look forward to debuting our focused service brand that embodies value and consistency in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Guests will be able to enjoy all of our signature brand attributes including the Garden Sleep System bed, complimentary high speed Internet access, 24-hour business centre and fitness centre.”
Hilton Garden Inn is a focused service brand offering affordable rates for the mid-market traveller. The hotel will feature guest rooms offering a minimum size of 28 square metres (301 square feet), two food and beverage outlets, including a restaurant and lounge area and a number of small meeting rooms.
Sami Al-Hokair, Executive Vice President of The Al Hokair Group said, “We are delighted to be working with Hilton on this multi-unit agreement in Saudi Arabia. As the world’s leading hospitality company, their global presence and experience gives us the confidence that this alliance will be a great success.”
The Kingdom’s Tourism Higher Authority (THA) has taken significant steps to further the country’s tourism potential. Alongside religious tourism, Saudi Arabia boasts a growing potential for major national and international conferences. The THA has realised the immense potential in developing domestic tourism with an estimated five million Saudis travelling abroad annually. Domestic tourism alone is expected to generate around SR101 billion by 2020.
Hilton has named the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) as one of its top ten key development markets internationally, and specifically the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today’s announcement confirms Hilton’s plans to concentrate on multi-unit deals in key emerging markets.
Hilton Hotels operates four properties in Saudi Arabia; three Hilton hotels in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah, in addition to the 46-all suite The Waldorf=Astoria Collection property, ‘Qasr Al Sharq’ or ‘Palace of the Orient’ in Jeddah.