Prince Alwaleed’s Four Seasons eyes new Saudi hotels

Canadian luxury hotel operator currently has one property in Riyadh’s Kingdom Centre
Prince Alwaleed’s Four Seasons eyes new Saudi hotels
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
By Daniel Shane
Thu 18 Apr 2013 08:25 AM

Canadian luxury hotel brand Four Seasons is aiming to open three new properties in Saudi Arabia within the next five years, the company’s EMEA president has said.

The chain, which operates 89 properties worldwide, currently has only one hotel in the Gulf country, in Riyadh.

Four Seasons is 47.5 percent owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding and its property in the Saudi capital is in the same building as the prince’s office.

Four Seasons confirmed that it will open an additional hotel in the coastal city of Jeddah, but is also in negotiations for a further two resorts, Christopher Norton told Arabian Business.

“I think we could have more hotels in Saudi Arabia. We have the one in Riyadh, and it’s a stunning hotel,” he said. “I think you will see us in Jeddah relatively soon, I would love to be in Makkah. We’re also looking at building a resort called the Oasis outside of Riyadh.”

Norton added that the timescale for the new properties was “within five years”, but their opening depended on striking deals with capital partners in the Gulf’s most populous country.

Four Seasons’ first hotel in the UAE is currently under construction, with the 237-room resort on Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Road set to open in the final quarter of 2014, Norton said.

“Dubai has been such a popular destination, so it’s been very difficult to find prime real estate, so we’d rather wait until we find the right location, rather than just building anywhere in the city. That’s why Dubai took so long," he added.

"We’ve got one of the last great pieces of beachfront property in Dubai, and it gives us the opportunity to do a resort hotel, rather than a city/business hotel."

Norton said that Four Seasons also plans to open a property in Abu Dhabi within “three or four years”, and also has hotels due to open in 2014 in Bahrain and Casablanca, with longer term plans to enter Oman and Kuwait.

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