KSA’s Tourism Development Fund (TDF) announced today the signing of a financing agreement with Golden Frond Hotel Services Company, a subsidiary company of the Afyaa Group to develop the ENVI Al Nakheel ecolodge in Al-Ahsa Oasis. The agreement demonstrates the commitment of both parties to advance sustainable tourism development, in line with the objectives of KSA’s National Tourism Strategy and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The announcement of this agreement coincided with the FHS Future Hospitality Summit held in Riyadh from May 7 to May 9, 2023.
The Al-Ahsa region is one of the targeted tourist destinations and home to one of the largest oases in the world. It is the first site in the region to be registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its rich archaeological features, which show evidence of human settlement in the region since the Neolithic era. These historical attractions make Al Ahsa the ideal location to create tourism facilities where visitors can enjoy its beauty and charm.
The Future Hospitality Summit witnesses the participation of a number of senior government figures, officials from the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as prominent developers, investors, hotel owners and operators, to discuss prospects for the growth and development of the tourism and hospitality sector in the Kingdom.
The agreement ratifies the importance of the Al-Ahsa region, which is one of the ten targeted tourist destinations. ENVI Al Nakheel will provide 25 lodging pods consisting of one- and two-bedroom units. The destination will also include several facilities such as farm-to-table dining, spa, local arts & crafts, and a selection of unique activities. The lodge will be operated by ENVI Lodges - the eco-friendly, premium quality luxury lodge brand. The project development is managed by Compass and BIC.
Mr. Qusai bin Abdullah Al-Fakhri, CEO of the Tourism Development Fund, said: “We are pleased with our partnership with Golden Frond to develop the ENVI Al Nakheel in Al-Ahsa Oasis. This distinctive project is compatible with our goals of promoting sustainable tourism. Al-Ahsa is distinguished by its historical and cultural heritage sites, as it is one of the most important destinations within the focus of The National Tourism Strategy, aiming at raising the number of tourism opportunities in Saudi Arabia in line with Vision 2030.”
Eng. ABBAS AL SALEH, CEO of Golden Frond Hotel Services Company: “We are grateful for TDF’s support to develop this project, as it represents a milestone in the Saudi tourism industry. We look forward to working together to create unforgettable experiences for tourists that complement our commitment to preserving the unique cultural and natural heritage of Al-Ahsa Oasis.”
Mr. Chris Nader, the co-founder of ENVI Lodges, said, “The Tourism Development Fund is an invaluable partner for private investors like Golden Frond Hotel Services Company, who want to develop qualitative tourism projects in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Abbas Al Saleh, with the support of TDF, entrusted us to conceive and operate his eco-friendly project because he knew ENVI would create a landmark lodge that will undoubtedly contribute to the establishment of Al Ahsa on the global tourism scene.”
ENVI Al Nakheel, which is expected to open in Q1 2024, is the first branded eco-lodge in KSA to be developed by the private sector and funded by the TDF. The project is designed by Thai-based Fractal Architects and award-winning design firm Kristina Zanic.
TDF’s mandate is to promote and support investments and tourism projects in the targeted tourist destinations in KSA, through a package of programs, financing solutions and facilities. TDF aims to stimulate the private sector and support its contributions to the prosperous future of the Kingdom’s tourism industry. The ENVI Al Nakheel project will raise the level of tourism offerings in KSA through cultural diversity, traditional methods of construction, and cutting-edge design features.