By Shane McGinley
Dubai-based firm's Saudi arm eyes investing $533 in Saudi hospitality sector by 2011-end
Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital’s Saudi Arabian unit has signed an agreement to develop a budget hotel business in Jeddah, it was announced on Monday.
Shuaa Capital Saudi Arabia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of its Shuaa Saudi Hospitality Fund I to develop a budget hotel business in the Saudi city.
This is the second deal for the hospitality fund, which aims to invest around SR2bn ($533m) in the kingdom’s emerging hospitality sector by the end of 2011.
“We are very proud of the achievements made by the SHUAA Saudi Hospitality Fund I and are excited about closing our second transaction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are hopeful to deploy the Fund’s commitments entirely by the end of 2011,” said Sameer Al Ansari, CEO of SHUAA Capital, said:
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is experiencing a sustained boom in business and leisure travel and the SHUAA Saudi Hospitality Fund is in an excellent position to benefit from that. Jeddah is at the forefront of this boom,” added Omar Al Jaroudi, CEO of SHUAA Capital Saudi Arabia,
Earlier this year, the fund acquired a prime sea-facing land on the Jeddah Northern Corniche for the development of a five-star hotel, to be managed by Rotana Hotel Management Corporation. The site, less than 20 minutes away from Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, will be developed into 254-room business hotel and the project is estimated to be valued at around SR160m ($42.6m).
In August, the Rotana hotel in Makkah [photos] said the number of hotel rooms in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 308,000 by 2014, up from 230,000 in 2008.
“Religious tourism remains the main driver of Saudi Arabia's tourism industry with millions of Muslim pilgrims visiting the country annually, prompting a surge in development projects to boost tourism and hospitality infrastructure around religious sites,” the hotelier said, adding that there has been a 6.5 percent year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals in Saudi this year.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.