Saudi Arabia’s AlUla commission signs resort agreement with Accor

The Royal Commission for AlUla is partnering with Europe’s biggest hotel group Accor to expand and operate the Ashar Resort in the northwest of the Kingdom. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 August 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla commission signs resort agreement with Accor

  • A total of 47 new villas will be added to the 35 existing villas in the resort, bringing the total number to 82 high-end villas
  • The agreement is part of the commission’s strategy to develop AlUla as an attractive tourist destination

LONDON: The Royal Commission for AlUla is partnering with Europe’s biggest hotel group Accor to expand and operate a resort in the northwest of the Kingdom.
The commission’s hotel and tourism sector will extend the Ashar Resort which will be managed by Accor under the Banyan Tree brand.

 


A total of 47 new villas will be added to the 35 existing villas in the resort, bringing the total number to 82 high-end villas.
The agreement, announced on Sunday, is part of the commission’s strategy to develop AlUla as an attractive tourist destination and diversify the Kingdom’s economy as part of Vision 2030.
The project is located in the Ashar valley, 15 kilometers from the Kingdom's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra.
The CEO of the commission Amr Al-Madani said the partnership “highlights the importance of AlUla as a tourist destination that is able to attract global investment.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman and CEO of Accor Sebastien Bazin said “We are extremely proud to take part in the development of the historic county of AlUla thus celebrating the Kingdom’s vast heritage and culture.”

 


Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

Updated 14 sec ago

Bailout will keep Air France-KLM afloat for less than year: CEO

  • ‘If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected’
  • Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments

PARIS: Bailouts provided to Air France-KLM by the French and Dutch governments will keep the airline flying less than a year, its CEO Benjamin Smith said Monday and evoked the possibility of injecting new capital.
In an interview with the French daily l’Opinion, Smith also warned that calls for airlines to contribute more to fight climate change could be catastrophic for their survival which is already under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When countries imposed lockdowns earlier this year to stem the spread of the coronavirus airlines faced steep drops in revenue that have claimed several carriers.
A number of countries stepped in with support, including France which provided $8.2 billion to Air France and the Netherlands which received a $2.9 billion package.
“This support will permit us to hold on less than 12 months,” said Smith.
The reason is that air traffic is picking up very slowly as many northern hemisphere countries are now fearing a second wave of infections.
“If we base it upon the past few weeks, it is clear that the recovery in traffic will be slower than expected,” according to Smith, who said when the bailout was put together the airline was expecting a return to 2019 levels only in 2024.
Smith said discussions were already underway with shareholders on shoring up the airline group, and steps would be taken before the next regular annual meeting in the second quarter of next year.
“One, three or five billion euros? It is too early to put a figure on a possible recapitalization,” he said.
The airline group had $12.12 billion in cash or available under credit lines.
Major shareholders include the French government with a 14.3 percent stake, the Dutch government at 14 percent, as well as Delta and China Eastern airlines which each hold an 8 percent stake.
Governments are coming under pressure to tie airline bailouts to environmental commitments.
One proposal that has come from a citizen’s convention convoked by President Emmanuel Macron would cost airlines an estimated $3.6 billion.
Smith said the imposition of environmental charges on the industry would be “irresponsible and catastrophic” for Air France-KLM.