By Andy Sambidge
US hotel giant inks deal to manage 309-room DoubleTree by Hilton Riyadh; to open in 2015
Hilton Worldwide has announced plans to open its 20th hotel in Saudi Arabia after signing an agreement with Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi & Sons.
The 309-room DoubleTree by Hilton Riyadh - Olaya will be located in the heart of the commercial district in downtown Riyadh and will be the operator's eighth property in the city.
The 20-storey property is slated to open mid-2015, the company said in a statement.
Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa said: "As the fastest growing international hospitality company in Saudi Arabia, I am delighted to see the strident and determined pace of progress we are making in such a key Middle East market.
"Once all 20 pipeline hotels open within the next four years, we will have one of the strongest and most diverse hotel portfolios in Saudi Arabia."
The DoubleTree by Hilton Riyadh - Olaya will feature a business centre, a 700 sq m function room, two boardrooms and two meeting rooms. Leisure facilities will include a health club, outdoor swimming pool, two restaurants, including speciality dining, and a lobby lounge.
John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton added: "The DoubleTree by Hilton brand is growing rapidly around the world and in particular, in the Middle East where investors and hotel owners can see the tangible benefits of partnering with an internationally recognised brand."
Owner Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Rafhi said: "Riyadh has traditionally been a strong corporate destination with business travel typically accounting for the biggest share of the incoming visitor market.
"I am delighted that our alliance with Hilton Worldwide will develop a property with the right balance of quality facilities and high service standards designed to appeal to leisure and business travellers."
In February, Hilton Worldwide said it has the largest number of hotels in active development across the Middle East and Africa as it looks for strong growth in the region.
The hotel operator said it has a total of 12,349 rooms in 35 properties in active construction.
Hilton Worldwide added that it will be "aggressively expanding" its presence in the region in the next two to three years.