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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.

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