UAE and Bahrain to establish joint investment fund

UAE and Bahrain to establish joint investment fund
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Updated 09 November 2021

UAE and Bahrain to establish joint investment fund

UAE and Bahrain to establish joint investment fund

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are planning to establish a joint investment fund to invest in both countries and abroad, UAE state news agency (WAM) reported on Tuesday.

The announcement was issued in a joint statement during the Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa's visit to the country.

"Both countries are keen to strengthen the existing economic relations and push them to broader horizons, work to remove regulatory obstacles and develop a more enabling environment for business.

"This will give a significant boost to the flow of trade and investment over the coming years, and work to establish a joint investment fund to invest in promising opportunities and projects in both countries and beyond,” the statement stated. 


Saudi Arabia to witness 'a golden era of hospitality' in next 10 years

Turab Saleem said Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar are putting the region on the international global tourism map. (AN photo)
Turab Saleem said Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar are putting the region on the international global tourism map. (AN photo)
Updated 19 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to witness 'a golden era of hospitality' in next 10 years

Turab Saleem said Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar are putting the region on the international global tourism map. (AN photo)

RIYADH: The next 10 years will be a golden era for Saudi hospitality as the country has laid down the foundation of transformation in the sector, according to a top official of Knight Frank in the Middle East and North Africa.

“You can call the coming 10 years of Saudi Arabia the golden era of its hospitality. It will not happen again in the coming years and years to come. It will lay the foundation for hospitality in the long term,” Turab Saleem, head of hospitality, tourism and leisure consultancy at Knight Frank in the Middle East and North Africa, told Arab News in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh.

MENA affirms top spot on global tourism map

Saleem added that the entire Middle East and North Africa region is becoming a tourism hotbed, as each country is flowering its own tourism plan to elevate the industry.

“Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar are putting the region on the international global tourism map more strongly and forcefully. You got half-a-million keys under development within Egypt, UAE and KSA. Where else is this happening?” asked Saleem.

The advent of Saudi cuisine

Saleem predicted that Riyadh would soon become one of the top five food destinations globally and added that the flavors of the Saudi capital would mesmerize the world.

“Riyadh will be among the top five-six destination in the world. It is going to emerge from Riyadh and is happening. Three or four very talented chefs and entities are doing it, and one or two are ahead of others. I can’t share the name, though,” pointed out Saleem.

He further added: “It’s a matter of a few months. Soon, you will see some great Saudi cuisines launched from Riyadh that will reach out to London, New York, and other international destinations.”

Saleem lauded the Kingdom’s lofty ambitions to attract 100 million tourists by the end of this decade as part of its Vision 2030 blueprint.

“It’s a very ambitious target. We will reach it. Even if we reach it partially, it’s still a big success. Let the world know we are at par with them,” said Saleem.

 


Elaf Group to launch new hospitality brand Joudyan next month

Elaf is a leading hospitality player.
Elaf is a leading hospitality player.
Updated 50 min 27 sec ago

Elaf Group to launch new hospitality brand Joudyan next month

Elaf is a leading hospitality player.
  • The company currently has nine hotels and plans to double this number in the next three to five years and triple the number in the next 10 years

RIYADH: Elaf Group, one of the leading hospitality players in the region, plans to launch a new hotel brand called Joudyan.
“We will be launching Joudyan, our first outside Makkah and Madinah,” Adel Ezzat, CEO of Elaf Group, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Forum in Riyadh.
He added that the new brand would be launched in Riyadh, Dammam and other tourism hotspots such as Jeddah and AlUla.

FASTFACTS

• The company currently has nine hotels and plans to double this number in the next three to five years and triple the number in the next 10 years.

• Elaf hotels are a mix of five- and four-star hotels that offer a unique experience of the local feel of the Kingdom to the visitors.

The company currently has nine hotels and plans to double this number in the next three to five years and triple the number in the next 10 years.
Elaf hotels are a mix of five- and four-star hotels that offer a unique experience of the local feel of the Kingdom to the visitors.
“We are a local brand, yet we have maintained international standards with local concepts, which is bringing to the visitors the real meaning of Saudi hospitality,” said Ezzat.
The company is also planning to expand across the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Middle East regions while setting its eyes on the European market.


Aleph Hospitality eyes travel, tourism opportunities in KSA

Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
Updated 49 min 49 sec ago

Aleph Hospitality eyes travel, tourism opportunities in KSA

Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
  • Haddad said that the internal market is quite strong from a demand standpoint

RIYADH: Aleph Hospitality, a leading Dubai-based independent hotel management company, is planning to open offices in Jeddah,
Makkah and Madinah to tap Saudi Arabia’s growing travel and tourism industry.
“Saudi Arabia represents about 30 million domestic travelers.
Our expectations from the Kingdom are quite high,” Bani Haddad, the founder and managing director of Aleph Hospitality, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia represents about 30 million domestic travelers. Our expectations from the Kingdom are quite high.

Bani Haddad

Haddad said that the internal market is quite strong from a demand standpoint. The situation is highly encouraging if one includes religious tourism, open visa policies, development in the region’s secondary cities, and expansion of the airlines and airlifts.
“So, the fundamentals are becoming more and more solid for the hospitality sector to flourish,” he added.
Because Aleph Hospitality is an independent operator, Haddad said the company services properties ranging from two- to five-stars in city centers and small to large resorts.
He explained that the company’s flexibility allows them to service investors in that sector.

 


Hospitality business trained to deal with pandemics: Azadea official

Mert Askin
Mert Askin
Updated 49 min 20 sec ago

Hospitality business trained to deal with pandemics: Azadea official

Mert Askin
  • Lebanon-based retail chain Azadea Group sells fashion, sports, home furnishings and food and drink

RIYADH: The hospitality industry has steeled itself for another pandemic after suffering the effects of the last health crisis, said Mert Askin, Azadea Group’s president of food and beverage.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Askin said that the industry is yet to recover from the pandemic because certain restrictions remain in place, such as some regulated air travel.
Askin added: “We are recovering. We are growing. And I’m optimistic about the future because this pandemic taught us a lot of things. This is not going to be the last pandemic, there may be more to come. But we are now trained to manage this kind of difficult situation.”
Lebanon-based retail chain Azadea Group sells fashion, sports, home furnishings and food and drink. Its food brands include Paul, Columbus Cafe & Co. and Eataly. The group, founded in 1978, employs over 10,000 staff across more than 550 stores in 13 countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE.

I’m optimistic about the future because this pandemic taught us a lot of things.

Mert Askin

The group’s food and drinks head pointed out that the firm’s core business had not changed despite the pandemic.
Askin said: “Our core is people — our team. As well as the customer, and how we operate together. That core will not change. But we definitely have a lot more technology tools at our disposal.”
He added that the group’s revenues are climbing and are close to pre-pandemic levels.
Saudi Arabia is Azadea Group’s second-largest market, and Askin added that the business wants to change with the Kingdom as it opens up and transforms its hospitality sector.
Askin said: “Saudi (Arabia) is changing, and we want to change with Saudi (Arabia). We believe in Vision 2030. We are committed to it, and we want to be a part of the program by growing with the country as it opens up. There is a lot of investment flooding into the industry. And we want to benefit from that tailwind and grow our business.”
Saudi nationals currently make up around a quarter of the staff the group employs.
Askin added: “Today, approximately 20 to 25 percent of our team members are Saudis. And one thing that we use to attract more Saudis is recognizing and sharing their success stories, as well as providing growth opportunities.”


Rotana Hotels to triple Saudi Arabia presence to 6,000 rooms by 2026, says president & CEO

Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
Updated 48 min 52 sec ago

Rotana Hotels to triple Saudi Arabia presence to 6,000 rooms by 2026, says president & CEO

Rotana Hotel Management Corp. President and CEO Guy Hutchinson says visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize.
  • This is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in terms of hospitality, says Hutchinson

RIYADH: Rotana Hotels plans to build seven new hotels in Saudi Arabia, which will almost triple the number of rooms it runs to in the Kingdom to 6,000 over the next four years, says its president and CEO.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation President and CEO Guy Hutchinson said its move was prompted by Saudi’s growing tourism market.

He said: “Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions at the moment anywhere in the world in terms of hospitality development.”

FASTFACTS

• The hotel chain also backs the Kingdom’s sustainability program to cut CO2 emissions and energy waste.

• It plans to source local agricultural and farm products that will be served in its hotels.

The Abu Dhabi-based business currently operates seven hotels in the Kingdom — in Alkhobar, Jeddah, Makkah and Riyadh — hosting 2,100 rooms.

Sector growth

The move by the business is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program, which bids to diversify the country’s economy, making it less reliant on oil, while boosting such areas as IT, business startups and tourism.

Vision 2030’s goal of attracting 100 million visitors to the Kingdom by the end of the decade is a key driver of the growth in the country’s hospitality sector, according to Hutchinson.

He added that the opening up of the country’s heritage cities and towns — such as AlUla and Jeddah — will attract more tourists over the coming years.

Hutchinson noted that visitor numbers to the region are beginning to normalize after almost grinding to a halt following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “You’re seeing this pent up demand from people wanting to reclaim their lifestyles and to reclaim travel at a really unprecedented speed.”

Local produce to drive sustainability

The hotel chain also backs the Kingdom’s sustainability program to cut CO2 emissions and energy waste.

It plans to source local agricultural and farm products that will be served in its hotels.

Hutchinson said: “Sustainability is an enormous part of what we do as it is embedded in our culture. That’s an important part of being part of sustainable communities.”