By Beatrice Thomas
Plans to expand its hotel and entertainment portfolio in the emirates over the next two years
Saudi hospitality and leisure conglomerate Al Hokair Group is planning a AED150m ($40.84m) investment blitz in the UAE in the next two years as it seeks to expand its hotel and entertainment portfolio in the emirates.
The company confirmed the investment figure to Arabian Business as it on Wednesday opened the first indoor family entertainment centre in Dubai and eighth in the UAE under its flagship brand Sparky’s at Al Ghurair Mall.
The AED30m ($8.17m) facility features 78 games, 12 rides and attractions, including an indoor roller coaster, an indoor ice rink and a soft play area.
It comes ahead of the planned opening of a Sparky’s in Fujairah in Q2, 2014.
Al Hokair has 55 indoor recreation centres in Saudi and the UAE comprising Sparky’s in the UAE, it’s Saudi flagship brand Metropolis, Digital Land and Sparkyno for younger children. It also operates 29 hotels in both countries under brands including Hilton, Holiday Inn and Accor and Intercontinental and Golden Tulip.
Its hospitality and entertainment divisions record around 30 million visitors annually between them.
Al Hokair vice-president marketing and business development Mishal Abdul Mohsen Al Hokair told Arabian Business while it recorded 14.3 percent revenue growth in 2013, it expected this to rise by 20 percent in 2014.
He said as well as expanding to India, where it last year opened a Sparky’s in Cochin, it was targeting “other GCC countries”.
“In less than three years we will be in more than four countries,” he said.
Al Hokair said it expected to grow the hotel division by more than 25 percent in the next five years, though would not disclose a timeline or the locations for new openings.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.