Saudi Arabia’s tourism revenue is expected to reach a whopping $65bn by 2020 and its hospitality sector is forecast to be worth $93bn in the next five years.
Saudi Arabia is poised to strengthen its position as the most lucrative hospitality investment market in the region. With the number of Islamic religious visitors set to continue its upward movement, and mega projects like the Jabal Omar Development Project, King Abdullah Economic City, Al Uqair Beach project and a lot more advancing into more mature phases, hospitality is one of the major drivers in the Kingdom’s focus on diversifying its economy.
According to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), 149 new hotels will be completed across Saudi Arabia in 2015 and more than 77 per cent of the hospitality investment in the kingdom is in the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. There is also a renewed interest shown by SCTA to push for development of potential tourist hubs in the coastal areas of Jeddah in the west and Dammam in the Eastern Province.
With the owners and operators looking to consolidate this growth phenomenon, it is very important for properties in Saudi Arabia to keep up with the global trends which are driving the hospitality industry forward. Smart rooms, intelligent energy management systems, aesthetic design keeping the Islamic culture and heritage in mind, reinventing F&B options as differentiators and advanced use of technology to offer the most enhanced experience for the guests, these are some of the important factors that no hotel can ignore to stay relevant in the highly competitive market.