Riyadh gears up to become hotel city

Updated 12 November 2012
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Riyadh gears up to become hotel city

RIYADH: STR Global, a firm specialized in the statistics of hospitality sector in the world, has stated that the ongoing hotel projects in Riyadh will turn it into one of the fastest growing cities in the Middle East's hospitality market.
The STR predicts that the completion of current projects will secure 6,413 hotel rooms to hospitality sector in the city during the next two years, which will boost its hotel market by 84.5 percent and it is the highest percentage expected among the cities in the region.
Riyadh city is deemed to be a city with highest hotel rooms capacity in the region, where a statistical report on Riyadh province in 2011 issued by the Tourism Information and Research Center (MAS), states that Riyadh city includes 60 hotels, of which 16 are five-star, 11 four-star, 14 three-star and 19 two-star, and 276 furnished apartments.
According to MAS, the total number of hotel rooms in the Riyadh province is 9105, of which 2,415 rooms are in five-star hotels, 3,041 in four-star, 1,002 rooms in three-star and 1,647 rooms are in two-star hotels. Local tourist trips in Riyadh city, which exceeded over 1,700 in 2011, is the key source of occupancy in accommodation sector, followed by business tourism as the second source of occupancy in the city.
Ahmed Al-Essa, vice-president of SCTA for Licensing and Quality Assurance, said: "The hotel sector in Riyadh has witnessed an unprecedented quantum leap, both in the volume of investments, which entered this sector during the past two years or in the quality of these investments, the thing that reflects status of tourism growth in Riyadh in particular, and in the Kingdom in general."
"One can see a large number of hotel facilities under construction under different classifications in the Riyadh city. Also during the last few years we have noticed a number of international hotel brands entering the Saudi market for the first time or enhancing their market presence through branches," he added.


EU to respond to any US auto tariff move: report

Updated 23 June 2018
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EU to respond to any US auto tariff move: report

  • Trump threatened to impose 20 percent tariff
  • Shares in carmakers slip on trade war fears

PARIS: The European Union will respond to any US move to raise tariffs on cars made in the bloc, a senior European Commission official said, the latest comments in an escalating trade row.
US President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars, a month after his administration launched an investigation into whether auto imports posed a national security threat.
“If they decide to raise their import tariffs, we’ll have no choice, again, but to react,” EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told French newspaper Le Monde.
“We don’t want to fight (over trade) in public via Twitter. We should end the escalation,” he said in the comments published on Saturday.
The European Autos Stocks Index fell on Friday after Trump’s tariff threat. Shares US carmakers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. also dropped.
“If these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the US Build them here!” Trump tweeted.
The US Commerce Department has a deadline of February 2019 to investigate whether imports of automobiles and auto parts pose a risk to US national security.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the department aimed to wrap up the probe by late July or August. The Commerce Department plans to hold two days of public comments in July on its investigation of auto imports.
Trump has repeatedly singled out German auto imports to the United States for criticism.
Trump told carmakers at a meeting in the White House on May 11 that he was planning to impose tariffs of 20 or 25 percent on some imported vehicles and sharply criticized Germany’s automotive trade surplus with the United States.
The United States currently imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported passenger cars from the EU and a 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks. The EU imposes a 10 percent tariff on imported US cars.
The tariff proposal has drawn sharp condemnation from Republican lawmakers and business groups. A group representing major US and foreign automakers has said it is “confident that vehicle imports do not pose a national security risk.”
The US Chamber of Commerce said US auto production had doubled over the past decade, and said tariffs “would deal a staggering blow to the very industry it purports to protect and would threaten to ignite a global trade war.”
German automakers Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG build vehicles at plants in the United States. BMW is one of South Carolina’s largest employers, with more than 9,000 workers in the state.
The United States in 2017 accounted for about 15 percent of worldwide Mercedes-Benz and BMW brand sales. It accounts for 5 percent of Volkswagen’s VW brand sales and 12 percent of its Audi brand sales.