Three more join impressive list of Red Sea resort operators

Special Three more join impressive list of Red Sea resort operators
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Updated 26 May 2022

Three more join impressive list of Red Sea resort operators

Three more join impressive list of Red Sea resort operators
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Miraval and Rosewood sign deals with The Red Sea Development Company

RIYADH: Three new hotel management agreements were inked with international hotel brands to operate resorts in the first phase of development at the Red Sea destination, The Red Sea Development Co. confirmed on Tuesday.

The announcement was made at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh.

These hotels include Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Miraval hotels — the first to operate in the Middle East — and Rosewood, a global luxury hospitality company.

“This announcement demonstrates industry confidence in The Red Sea Project, with a total of 12 hospitality brands now confirmed, and signifies a growing appetite from global leaders to participate in the expansion of the Saudi tourism market. With two brands now entering the region for the first time, I believe the future of tourism in the Kingdom is bright,” said John Pagano, CEO at TRSDC. 




Upon completion in 2030, the project will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. (Supplied)

Ritz-Carlton Reserve is situated at the destination’s idyllic Ummahat Islands, while Miraval and Rosewood are located on Shura Island, the main hub for the resort. The new collection of hospitality brands collectively features nearly 500 hotel keys of the total 3,000 planned for Phase 1.

“Together with our collection of globally recognized and respected partners, we are excited to play our part in opening up this unique and undiscovered part of the world, setting new benchmarks for sustainable development along the way,” Pagano said.

A top executive from Marriott International also shared his thoughts with Arab News about the new deal.

“Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will offer a highly personalized leisure experience that blends intuitive and heartfelt service with stunning natural beauty and indigenous design. The resort will be surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty and designed to blend seamlessly with the environment,” Jerome Briet, chief development officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International told Arab News. 

He added: “We will work closely together with The Red Sea team to promote the overall destination, as well as Nujuma, which will be a destination in itself. This is also where the strength of Marriott’s distribution system, our channels and partners will play a key role. When it opens, the resort will also have access to a network of over 160 million members as part of our loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, which Ritz-Carlton Reserve recently joined.”

For his part, Ludwig Bouldoukian, regional vice president, development, Middle East and Africa at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, talked about the promising future of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea.

“Miraval The Red Sea will join Grand Hyatt The Red Sea as the second Hyatt hotel slated to open within the first phase of the Red Sea Development Project. It is a great source of pride for Hyatt to play such a central role in this project and be able to collaborate with owners who share our values and ambitions. We look forward to introducing guests to experience a new standard of luxury and wellness, synonymous to the Miraval brand, where the focus is on mindfulness and creating balance. We have great confidence in the success of this property that will be a unique addition to The Red Sea Project,” Bouldoukian told Arab News. 

We will work closely together with The Red Sea team to promote the overall destination.

Jerome Briet, Marriott International

He added: “Saudi Arabia has become a thriving hub for global business, arts and culture, and pioneering hospitality experiences. This ever-evolving destination continues to represent an important growth market for Hyatt, reinforcing our continued commitment to intentional growth in places that matter most to guests, members, customers and owners.” He went on to say that as Hyatt continues to grow within the Kingdom, the company remains grounded in its purpose — to care for people so they can be their best.

“This promise is reflected in the elevated guest experience that will await guests to Miraval when the resort opens,” Bouldoukian said.

He stressed that with its untapped natural beauty, The Red Sea Project is the perfect location to bring the Miraval brand to the global stage. 

Saudi Arabia has become a thriving hub for global business, arts and culture, and pioneering hospitality experiences.

Ludwig Bouldoukian, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

“This is the brand’s first property outside of the US. Expected to boast the largest spa and wellness facilities within The Red Sea Project, the property will usher in a new era of wellness tourism to the Kingdom; a sector that has already demonstrated great potential within the Middle East and is set to grow exponentially in the coming years,” he explained. 

Bouldoukian added that Miraval The Red Sea will introduce the wellness brand’s signature mindfulness-based wellness practices to a new corner of the world, empowering guests with tools and inspiration to find balance and support their emotional and mental wellbeing.

“The Life in Balance Spa, which is expected to be the largest within the Red Sea destination, will be the heart of the property encompassing nearly 40,000 square feet (3,700 square meters) and 39 treatment rooms,” he informed.

The posh hotel companies join a line-up of globally renowned brands that have already confirmed they will operate at the Red Sea, including: EDITION Hotels and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International; Fairmont Hotel & Resorts; Raffles Hotels & Resorts and SLS Hotels & Residences, part of global hospitality group Accor; Grand Hyatt, part of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.

The statement explained that The Red Sea has already passed significant milestones and work is on track to welcome the first guests in early 2023 when the first hotels will open. Phase one, which includes 16 hotels in total, will complete by the end of 2023.

Upon completion in 2030, the project will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include an international airport, luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment, and leisure facilities.


SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1

SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1
Updated 16 sec ago

SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1

SABB to pay $301m in dividends for H1

RIYADH: Saudi British Bank, also known as SABB, has proposed a dividend of SR1.13 billion ($301 million) for the first half of 2022.

The dividend payout per share has been set at SR0.55 for over 2 billion shares eligible for dividends which will be distributed on July 27, according to a bourse filing.

SABB, which was voted the best bank in 2022, recently appointed Yasser Ali Al-Barrak as its new CEO for corporate and institutional banking.

The bank has posted a 3 percent increase in net profit to SR1 billion in the first quarter of 2022, over SR974 in the year-ago quarter.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday
Updated 11 min 45 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Monday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks ended their first trading session of July in red, extending losses after an 11-percent decline in June due to fears over inflation and recession.

TASI, the main benchmark index, fell 0.5 percent to 11,464 on Sunday and the parallel market, Nomu, shed 2.3 percent to 21,082.

Oman’s stock exchange declined 0.3 percent in line with Saudi Arabia.

However, the Bahraini bourse led the gains in the region as it advanced by 1.4 percent, followed by Kuwait and Qatar, up 1 and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 lost as much as 2.4 percent.

In the oil market, Brent crude futures rose slightly to $112.16 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate reached $108.82 a barrel by 8:59 a.m. Saudi time on Monday.

Stock news

The Saudi British Bank, or SABB, appointed Yasser Ali Al-Barrak as its new CEO for corporate and institutional banking

SABB’s board of directors proposed a dividend distribution of SR1.13 billion ($301 million) in total, or SR0.55 per share, for the first half of 2022

Al-Khaleej Training and Education Co. entered into a non-binding agreement to potentially acquire 51 percent of Al-Minhaj Private Schools Co.

Ayyan Investment Co. named Faisal Al-Qahtani chairman of the board and Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh vice-chairman

Wafrah for Industry and Development Co.’s rights issue was 78 percent subscribed, generating SR120 million in proceeds

Jahez International Co. for Information System Technology appointed Lulua Bakr to replace audit committee chairman Abdulwahab Al-Butairi following his resignation

Saudi Basic Industries Corp.'s health insurance contract with Bupa Arabia was renewed for one year starting July 4

Calendar

July 4, 2022

Launch of single-stock futures trading on Tadawul

July 7, 2022

Saudi Exchange will close for the Eid Al Adha holidays and resume trading on July 13


Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others
Updated 44 min 14 sec ago

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

Dubai fintech YAP raises $41m to expand footprint, eyes Saudi market among others

RIYADH: The UAE’s fintech YAP, a leading digital banking platform, has raised $41 million in a funding round led by Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital, Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group and Audacia Capital.

The company plans to complete series A funding by the end of the year and use the funds to expand its regional footprint, it said in a statement.

It recently partnered with Bank AlJazira to launch its consumer and business banking platforms in Saudi Arabia.

“There is incredible demand for fintech products in the region, and we are well placed to be a market leader to address these needs,” said Marwan Hachem, co-founder and group CEO of YAP, in the statement.

Marwan Hachem, co-founder and group CEO of YAP (Supplied)

The company has also received regulatory approval in Pakistan and Ghana to offer similar services and plans to soon launch in Egypt.

YAP offers users a simple interface with a complete view of consumer spending analytics and easy ways to transfer money and pay bills.

With no minimum balance required, the app also provides customers with real-time notifications of purchases, withdrawals, and transfers.

YAP’s product development pipeline includes a new multicurrency offering, products for children and households, equity trading, loans and buy-now-pay-later options through the YAP Store, the YAP Financial Marketplace, and the YAP Hub.

“The momentum and growth we have seen since our launch validate the need for the YAP platform throughout the region. We look forward to expanding into new markets and enhancing our offering in the months ahead with these investments,” Anas Zaidan, co-founder and managing director of YAP, said in the statement.

Since its launch in 2021, the platform has provided over 130,000 users with an extensive database of resources at their fingertips to become expert money managers.


Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output
Updated 04 July 2022

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

RIYADH: Oil prices fell on Monday, paring gains from the previous session, as fears of a global recession weighed on the market even as supply remains tight amid lower OPEC output, unrest in Libya and sanctions on Russia.

Brent crude futures for September slipped 36 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $111.27 a barrel at 0300 GMT, having jumped 2.4 percent on Friday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery dropped 34 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $108.09 a barrel, after climbing 2.5 percent on Friday.

Algeria’s oil, gas earnings up 70 percent in first five months of 2022

Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022, compared to $12.6 billion in the same period last year, an executive at state oil and gas producer Sonatrach told reporters on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Sonatrach’s CEO, Tewfik Hakkar told reporters on Sunday that the country is negotiating with all its clients to review gas prices. 

Hakkar added that the review of the prices is not targeting a single company or country.

Norway strike could cut gas output by 13 percent next week

A planned strike next week by Norwegian energy sector workers could cut the country’s gas output by 292,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 13 percent of output, employers’ group the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said on Sunday.

Oil output could be cut by 130,000 barrels per day, NOG added, corresponding to around 6.5 percent of Norway’s production, according to a Reuters calculation.

The strike, in which workers are demanding wage hikes to compensate for rising inflation, comes at a time of high oil and gas prices, with supplies of natural gas to Europe particularly tight after Russian export cutbacks.

Members of the Lederne labor union, who make up around 15 percent of the country’s offshore petroleum workers, on Thursday voted down a proposed wage agreement that had been negotiated by companies and union leaders.

As a result, they plan to begin a strike at three offshore fields on July 5, and to add three more fields the following day unless a solution is found.

A seventh field, Tyrihans, will have to shut down because its output is processed from the nearby Kristin field, which will shut down.

The parties have been talking, but no progress has been made.

(With inputs from Reuters)


GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears
Updated 04 July 2022

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

RIYADH: Stock exchanges in the Gulf Cooperation Council states logged their second straight monthly decline in June as fears over inflation and recession rattled investors.

MSCI GCC Index, which captures the performance of indexes across the region, was down 9 percent as it exited its worst month so far this year, a report by Kamco Invest revealed.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia posted the biggest drop of nearly 11 percent, followed by Abu Dhabi and Qatar with declines of 6.8 and 5.6 percent, respectively.

The Omani benchmark index bucked the trend to close slightly higher, securing a 0.2-percent gain.

This happened amid worries about rising inflation and interest rate hikes as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

That said, the aggregate index is up 2.8 percent in terms of year-to-date gains, having performed four straight months in the green before dropping in May.