Hilton Worldwide today announced the signing of a Management Agreement with Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University Endowment for the 241-room Hilton Riyadh King Saud University and the 155-room Hilton Riyadh King Saud University Residence - both expected to open by 2012.
“Saudi Arabia is our number one development market in the Middle East. Riyadh is drawing both domestic and international visitors from strong business and corporate markets, and we are delighted to meet this demand with two additional Hilton branded properties with the same owner. The cross-selling opportunities with our six existing hotels in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and Riyadh are tremendous,” said Andrew Clough, Senior Vice President, Development, Middle East & Asia-Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
King Saud University is Saudi Arabia’s oldest, largest and most prestigious higher education centre with a student population of 70,000 attending various colleges and research centres. The two new properties are located in one of the capital’s premier locations in close proximity to Downtown Riyadh, the Diplomatic Quarter and the King Abdullah Financial District, as well as an upmarket residential district for government ministers and royalty. King Khaled International Airport which handles 11 million passengers per year is a 28 kilometre drive.
“We are delighted to have signed two properties in the capital, in line with our goal to increase the presence of our brands in Saudi Arabia around the world,” said Paul Brown, President, Global Brands & Commercial Services, Hilton Worldwide.
With preliminary groundwork already underway, the new-build properties will feature facilities and amenities catering to both the business and leisure traveller when they open in 2012.
Hilton Riyadh King Saud University and Hilton Riyadh King Saud University Residence will feature all-day dining facilities, health clubs, swimming pools and business centres. The hotel will also offer a spa, retail space, four meeting rooms, an executive lounge and additional F&B options including a speciality restaurant, lobby lounge and a pool bar.
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula and second largest in the Arab world after Egypt, with a population of approximately 27.6 million. The Kingdom sits on more than 20% of the world’s proven oil reserves, accounting for 45% of the country’s GDP. The country’s expatriate workforce of over eight million is expected to grow thanks to the Kingdom’s drive towards diversifying its oil-based economy. The substantial developments in infrastructure and foreign investment opportunities have led to a boom in real estate, consumer product and tourism sectors bringing in a steady flow of international visitors to the country and the capital in particular.
“We are delighted that Hilton Worldwide is a key part of this landmark project, with two Hilton branded properties. With the capital developing into a business and luxury hub, attracting millions of regional and international visitors while hosting thousands of expatriate families, the entry of these two properties adds to the city’s metropolitan credentials and showcases the diversity of its hospitality offerings,” said Dr. Abdulrehman AI-Harkan, CEO, King Saud University Endowment.
Hilton Worldwide’s existing portfolio in Riyadh includes the Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Olaya, the upcoming Hilton Garden Inn Riyadh Al Muroj (Q3 2011) and the Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residence (Q4 2013)