16,000 new hotel rooms for Riyadh and Jeddah by 2018

Updated 22 April 2015
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16,000 new hotel rooms for Riyadh and Jeddah by 2018

A new report published by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2015 reveals that the major cities of Saudi Arabia — Riyadh and Jeddah — are forecast to see an increase of 16,000 new hotel rooms by 2018.
Of these, over 50 percent will be part of new five-star hotel developments, as international hotel brands put in place ambitious expansion plans.
The number of rooms in Jeddah is expected to increase by 2,700 in 2015 alone.
AccorGroup has plans to open nearly 10 hotels by 2018, while current market leader, InterContinental Hotels Group, which has 24 hotels throughout the Kingdom, has announced the opening of a further 9 outlets including the world’s largest Holiday Inn in Makkah.
Pascal Gauvin, chief operating office, India, Middle East & Africa at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), said: “Saudi Arabia has been one of our strongest markets and a key focus for us within the region since we entered 40 years ago. Our largest presence in the Middle East is in Saudi Arabia where we have 24 hotels open across our InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, and a further nine in the pipeline due to open in the next three to five years.”
He continued: “The positive reports we are seeing on projected growth in visitor arrivals contribute to our optimism for the market — industry has forecast a 400 percent growth in domestic tourism to around 640 million nights by 2019, for example.”
He said: “The number of pilgrims expected to visit the kingdom is set to more than double, and reach five million religious visitors this year, which presents a great opportunity for us to continue to expand our footprint in the country.”
Gauvin said: “We are in a great position to cater for this growth with the opening of Holiday Inn Makkah in 2016, which will be the largest Holiday Inn hotel in the world with 1,238 rooms.”
According to another new report published by Euromonitor International for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2015, the Saudi travel market is currently booming owing to the launch of the “Umrah plus” visa which the government of Saudi Arabia introduced in 2014, that enables pilgrims to visit any city of the country freely after performing their religious duties.
Inbound tourism has historically been largely dependent on religious tourists traveling to Makkah and Madinah.
However, in recent years an ambitious plan to bring in more foreign investment has led to various industrial areas including the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), alongside large-scale expansion projects currently being carried out at the Holy Mosques, especially in Makkah.
Ismail AlAkamal, director at AlKamal International Saudi Arabia, will be speaking on Makkah and Madinah as a unique market for hospitality projects at the first ever Vision Conference at The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2015.
He said: “One can hardly recognize Makkah’s city center anymore with the sheer amount of demolition and construction work going on. From the Haram expansion, the First Ring Road, King AbdulAziz Boulevard, Haramain High Speed Rail and Makka Metro project to the private sector developments such as the Jabal Omar Development Project, Jabal Al Kabaa Project and many other independent developments around the central Haram area. It is no surprise that most of the private sector development is focused on hospitality with more than 22,000 keys forecasted to enter operation by the end of 2016. Of course, this opens numerous opportunities for all verticals catering for this unique market and at the same time presents a few challenges.”
Grant Salter, head of Travel, Hospitality and Leisure Advisory at Deloitte, will also be speaking on hotel performance by sector and opportunities for investment at The Vision Conference, Saudi Arabia 20


Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

Updated 23 January 2019
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Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

  • Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent
  • Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering

SINGAPORE: Fujairah in the UAE has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulfur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.
Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, forcing huge changes upon global shippers and also oil refiners.
Fujairah’s harbor master said in a faxed document seen by Reuters that the port “has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters ... (and) ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulfur cap comes into force.”
This follows top marine fueling port of Singapore announcing a similar move in November, while China banned the use of open-loop scrubbers from Jan. 1, 2019.
Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering.
Impact for shippers
To comply with IMO 2020 rules, shippers can switch to burning cleaner but more expensive oil, invest in exhaust cleaning systems known as scrubbers that may allow them to still use cheaper high-sulfur fuels, or redesign vessels to run on alternatives like liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Scrubbers use water to clean up fuel emissions, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.
Open-loop scrubbers are the cheapest option, but they have come under criticism as they wash heavy metals and sulfur from the waste water into seas instead of storing it for a controlled discharge in ports, as closed-loop scrubbers do.
Of the more than 2,000 ships that have so far opted to invest in scrubbers, around three-quarters have installed the cheaper, open-loop type, shipping sources estimated.
Closed-loop scrubbers, which store wash water for later discharge, are still accepted in most ports.
Despite the spreading bans of open-loop scrubbers, Douglas Raitt of ship classifier Lloyd’s Register said vessels can still benefit from such systems as they can pump out the waste water in open seas, outside a port’s jurisdiction.
“The benefits of open-loop scrubbers are largely realized in open water during transit from one port to the next,” he said.
Raitt said shippers, however, should consider alternative measures to prepare for IMO 2020, considering that when the new rules come into force refueling infrastructure will be mostly geared toward compliant low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) rather than high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO).
“Prevailing wisdom would be for operators opting for scrubbers to have a meaningful dialogue with their supplier base to secure HSFO post-2020 in ports of call,” Raitt said.