Saudi Arabia key to world’s fastest-growing hotel chain

1 / 2
The gate of OYO Eling Villa Hotel at Maidi Road, Huicheng District, China. (Shutterstock photo)
2 / 2
Rooms, commonly known as OYO, is a network of budget hotels in India. Headquartered in Gurgaon, it currently operates in more than 200 Indian towns, Malaysia and Nepal. (Shutterstock photo)
Updated 03 November 2019

Saudi Arabia key to world’s fastest-growing hotel chain

  • Oyo Rooms CEO Ritesh Agarwal believes KSA is on the cusp of a boom as local tourism surges following reforms

The founder of Oyo Rooms, the world’s fastest-growing hotel chain, has said that Saudi Arabia is crucial to his $10 billion company’s global growth strategy.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Ritesh Agarwal, the firm’s 25-year-old CEO, told Arab News that the Kingdom offered “very exciting, magical opportunities.”

Saudi Arabia is a relatively recent market for the company, but will become increasingly important, he said.

“We came to the Kingdom only about 10 months ago, but it is a very special market for us. At the moment, we have 9,000 rooms in 14 cities. We have gone to 600,000 customers in the first 10 months, and are aiming to get to 2 million next year,” he said.


Read More: INTERVIEW: World’s fastest-growing hotel chain comes to Saudi Arabia


 

Agarwal believes Saudi Arabia is on the cusp of a hotel boom as domestic tourism surges following Vision 2030 reforms.

The planned increase in religious tourism — at least 30 million pilgrims are forecast to travel to Makkah and Madinah by 2030 — is another growth factor, and Oyo has plans to expand into the two holy cities.

Describing the new online visitor visa as a game-changer, Agarwal said the third growth area will be a rise in international tourism to attractions such as the Red Sea development, NEOM and Al-Qiddiya. 

Agarwal’s story is one to inspire any youthful would-be entrepreneur. The boy who began selling SIM cards on the streets of Titlagarh in India now heads a hotel chain that manages more than 1 million rooms in 80 countries.

 

 


Saudi Arabia welcomes Egypt’s new initiative for Libya

Updated 7 min 57 sec ago

Saudi Arabia welcomes Egypt’s new initiative for Libya

  • The Kingdom urged both the LNA and the GNA to implement a cease-fire immediately
  • Saudi Arabia also urged both to start negotiating under the auspices of the UN in order to establish safety in Libya

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia welcomed Egypt’s new initiative for Libya and president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s call for a cease-fire in the country on Saturday.
The Kingdom also welcomed all international efforts aiming to stop the fighting in Libya and encouraged negotiations based on the initiative, called the “Cairo declaration,” and recommendations made at the Geneva and Berlin conferences on Libya.
The Kingdom urged both eastern commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) to implement a cease-fire immediately.
Saudi Arabia also urged both to start negotiating under the auspices of the UN in order to establish safety and security in Libya and protect it from foreign interference.