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.