Saudi support boosts hospitality industry growth

A general view of Riyadh Marriott Hotel.
Updated 02 January 2018

Saudi support boosts hospitality industry growth

The Saudi government’s increased investment in infrastructure development and its support to the entertainment and sports sectors will spur growth for the hospitality and tourism industry in the Kingdom, said Muin Serhan, general manager of Riyadh Marriott Hotel, on Tuesday.
Serhan said the Finance Ministry has approved a loan of SR851 million for 12 health, education and hospitality projects.
“The hospitality sector is a significant beneficiary of the Saudi government’s measures aimed at bolstering business networks through its focus on sports and entertainment,” he said, referring to the recently announced budgetary allocations.
He said: “The move will also boost inbound and domestic tourism substantially, driving significant growth opportunities for the hospitality industry.”
He said: “The Riyadh Marriott Hotel welcomes guests with 5-star sophistication at a prime location in the city's business hub. Here you will feel as if you have come to a truly special place. Here we have 418 elegant rooms and suites, which are sumptuously furnished with all amenities, including high-speed Internet access, marble bathrooms and deluxe featherbed mattresses.”
He said The Marriott Hotel will be opened by mid-2018 in the Diplomatic Quarters in the Saudi capital.
Referring to the consistent growth of business within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030, Serhan said Saudi Arabia is also set to launch an SR10 billion ($2.67 billion) entertainment company as it aims to create 22,000 jobs in the underserved sector.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) said it is in the process of forming a company that will channel investments into developing the industry and enhancing the Kingdom’s appeal as a tourism destination.
The Islamic Sports Federation (ISF) has also announced the provision of financial support in addition to the allocation of a special building in this regard.
The federation’s plans to host sports activities will further boost business for hospitality sector. The Kingdom has gone the extra mile in supporting the sports and entertainment sectors.
“The chess championship added an exciting new dimension to sports in Saudi Arabia,” Serhan added.

Expo spotlights luxury watches

Updated 17 April 2018

Expo spotlights luxury watches

Salon des Grandes Complications was officially inaugurated by Prince Faisal bin Nawaf at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel last week. Taking place for the first time in Jeddah from April 9-12, the four-day fine watchmaking exhibition offered a unique and exclusive social platform for horology enthusiasts in Jeddah to gather.

Revered mechanical masterpieces were displayed, encompassing the newest innovations, historial savoir-faire and inimitable craftsmanship. Visitors were invited to delve into the world of haute horology and get up close and personal with timepieces that are among the best in the world, interacting with watchmakers and designers themselves. 

The event included celebrated traditional maisons and niche independent companies such as Armand Nicolet, Armin Strom, Blancpain, Breguet, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Hysek, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Quinting and Vacheron Constantin, and with the support of retailers Alfardan Jewellery, Abdullah Said Binzagr Jewellery and Watches, Al-Hussaini and Platinum Sands.

On wrapping up in Jeddah, the Salon des Grandes Complications will move to Riyadh’s Al-Faisaliah Hotel from April 16-19.

Participating brands have crafted some of the most complicated and highly valued timepieces ever and have between them an array of international accolades.

Salon des Grandes Complications was first launched in the UAE in 2014 and after much success, has taken place every year since — in 2017 also branching out to Saudi Arabia. 

In January, Saudi Arabia was named the 12th largest export market for Swiss watches by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, clearly showing its significance within the industry not only in the Middle East, but on a global level. In 2017, the Kingdom was the second biggest market in the region for Swiss watch exports, with a total value of CHF325.1 million ($349.4 million).

Salon des Grandes Complications is held with the support of the Swiss Embassy in Saudi Arabia and Visa International.