RIYADH: Bahrain’s Gulf Hotels Group is set to expand into Saudi Arabia by opening a representative office in Riyadh, aiming to capitalize on the Kingdom’s growing tourism market.
In a press statement, the Bahrain Stock Exchange-listed firm emphasized Saudi Arabia as a “priority market,” having recently established a subsidiary company in the Kingdom following approval from the Ministry of Commerce.
The hotel group, which opened Bahrain’s first five-star property, further noted that its expansion into the Kingdom aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to transform the country into a global tourism destination.
Farouk Al-Moayyed, chairman of Gulf Hotels Group, said: “Our expansion into Saudi Arabia is a strategic move that goes in line with our long-term growth plan.”
He added: “We see great potential in the Saudi Arabian hospitality market, and our regional representative office in Riyadh will serve as a hub for offering our best hospitality services and forming long term partnerships.”
Tourism is one of the key sectors that Saudi Arabia is actively promoting, as the Kingdom strategically diversifies its economy away from oil.
Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy aims to attract over 100 million visitors by the end of this decade, along with increasing the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product in the Kingdom to more than 10 percent.
“Expanding our footprint into Saudi Arabia is a significant milestone for Gulf Hotels Group. We are excited to establish our presence in this dynamic market and contribute to its growth,” said Ahmed Janahi, group CEO of Gulf Hotels Group.
In October, IHG Hotels & Resorts opened its headquarters in Riyadh. The company also announced its strategic focus on expansion in the country, with 50 percent of the group’s ongoing development pipeline in the Middle East region dedicated to Saudi Arabia.
Since the establishment of InterContinental Riyadh in 1975, IHG has experienced rapid growth in its presence within the Kingdom. Currently managing 40 hotels in Saudi Arabia with a total of 18,000 rooms, the group has an additional 32 hotels under construction in the country.