Tag Archives: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Marriott signs deal with Assila to introduce luxury collection to Saudi Arabia in 2020

Marriott International signed an agreement with Assila Investments to bring its Luxury Collection brand for the first time to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Situated in the heart of Jeddah, Assila Hotel is anticipated to join the Luxury Collection’s portfolio of more than 100 world-renowned hotels and resorts in 2020. “We are thrilled to have Marriott International manage the beautiful Assila Hotel, under the Luxury Collection brand,” said Bader Alissa, CEO, Assila Investments. “This only affirms Assila Hotel’s position as a premier luxury hotel in Jeddah.” “We are delighted to announce plans for the first Luxury Collection property in Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with Assila Investments,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International.  “This deal signing supports our plans to further diversify our footprint in the Kingdom while enhancing our overall luxury portfolio in the region.”   Assila Hotel features 210 guestrooms, including a 590 sqm Royal Suite, and 94 apartments.  It comprises multiple food and beverage venues, including a Café Lounge and Argentinian and Mediterranean specialty restaurants.  The hotel also includes a 348 sqm ballroom and nine meeting rooms, as well as full-service recreational facilities such as a spa, fitness centre and squash courts.

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VFS Global’ s Saudisation initiative surpasses 50%; aims to exceed 60% by 2020

VFS Global is welcoming Saudi talent to consider a future in the tourism sector as the country accelerates its efforts towards becoming a world-class tourist hub. Building on its Saudisation initiative, which has achieved 51 per cent and a Platinum status under the Saudi Nitaqat programme since being launched across Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar in 2018, VFS Global is encouraging Saudi students to opt for career paths within the organisation as it eyes exceeding 60 per cent Saudisation by 2020. To date, the company’s efforts have been devoted to hiring over 60 qualified Saudi national interns. Since 2018, VFS Global has partnered with the King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University and Jeddah University. The company is currently working on internship agreements with Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University and Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. Dr. Adeeb A. Al-Khaliel, Vice – Rector Assistant for Industrial and Business Relation, King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “The tourism industry shows promising potential for the leadership’s vision and we are pleased with the Saudisation initiative VFS Global has incorporated in its organisational framework.” Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO, VFS Global, said, “ As a company with strong foundations in the tourism sector, VFS Global is pleased to welcome more Saudi nationals into this innovative space in order to highlight potential employment opportunities and make progress towards KSA’s Vision 2030 directives for launching promising sectors.” In addition to the internship programme, VFS Global has also launched a management trainee programme for existing Saudi nationals to build on mid-level manager capabilities and provide rapid development career pathways.

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Millennium and Copthorne Makkah Al Naseem hotels open doors

Millennium and Copthorne Makkah Al Naseem hotels situated in Makkah City Center at Al Naseem district opened their doors to meet the rapidly increasing demand of rooms and luxury stays within the holy city of Makkah. The two properties add 1307 keys to the 4067 keys currently operated by Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supporting the 2030 vision. The two properties are part of Al Rajhi complex in Al Naseem district in the holy city of Makkah and at a walking distance from Al-Rajhi Mosque that is part of the complex. Millennium and Copthorne Makkah Al Naseem provide a convenient location for pilgrims close to the holy sites including Arafat, Mina and Mozdalifa and a relaxing atmosphere to Umrah performers and business travellers. A 24/ 7 free shuttle service to and from the haram, on-site recreational activities, entertainment, restaurants and business facilities are available within Al Rajhi complex for the guests to enjoy while staying in the hotels. Kevork Deldelian, Chief Operating Officer at Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA, stated, “We are pleased to introduce these new properties to Millennium Hotels & Resorts portfolio in the Kingdom, as the fruitful outcome of our partnership with Sulaiman A.Al-Rajhi Real Estate Investments Company.  We look forward to seeing these properties among top hotels within the Makkah province.” Khalid Saud Abuhaimed, CEO at Sulaiman A.Al-Rajhi Real Estate Investments Company, commented, “We are witnessing a huge leap in the development of Al Rajhi complex and these new openings represent an essential part of the complex complementing its comprehensive facilities.  As one of the leading Saudi holding groups, we are keen to keep up with the strong growth …

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Emirates expands services to Jeddah and Medina for busy Hajj season

Emirates will be expanding its services to Jeddah and Medina with an additional 46 flights to help facilitate travel for Hajj pilgrims heading to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The flights will be operated between July 27 and August 22 to support the Hajj journey to the Holy City of Mecca. The services will run in parallel with Emirates’ regularly scheduled services to Jeddah and Medina, and will be available to travellers holding a valid Hajj visa. This year, Emirates expects thousands of pilgrims to travel on its services for Hajj, coming from top inbound destinations such as Pakistan, the United States, Senegal, the UK, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa and Ivory Coast. Adil Al Ghaith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf, Middle East and Iran, Emirates, said, “Hajj is one of the most significant events in the Muslim faith, and every year, Emirates’ primary focus is to help facilitate seamless travel for our Hajj passengers as they converge on the Holy City of Mecca for this once in a lifetime journey.” On the ground in Dubai, Emirates has commissioned a dedicated team to manage check-in and transfers for the seamless movement of Hajj passengers leaving from and transiting in Dubai. In the air, Emirates has planned several initiatives that uphold the values and traditions of pilgrims when travelling for Hajj. Extra provisions will be made to accommodate Hajj traveller needs such as performing ablutions and other cleansing rituals as well as advising passengers when they have entered Al Miqat zones to ensure readiness for Ihram (the point when pilgrims enter a state of sanctity) through dedicated passenger announcements.

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Instant e-Visas for Jeddah Season 2019 visitors

Visitors coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Jeddah Season 2019 can obtain a tourist visa in three minutes or less through the Sharek e-Visa website. Implemented by the Organising Committee for Jeddah Season 2019, the online application method is linked to ticket purchases for Jeddah Season 2019 events. Once visitors buy a ticket, they can get an instant e-Visa simply by logging on to www.sharek.sa and following the step-by-step instructions. “Making it quick and easy to obtain an entry visa will encourage more tourists to discover the beauty of Jeddah, known affectionately as the Bride of the Red Sea, attracting regional and international visitors to the 2019 edition of Jeddah Season, said Eng. Raed Abuzinada, General Supervisor of the Jeddah Season. “The introduction of the e-Visa system will have a positive impact on the travel and tourism sector, which is a key driver of the nation’s economy and remains a vital component of the economic diversification that is a fundamental aim of Vision 2030.” Jeddah Season 2019 offers visitors a dazzling choice of more than 150 events and activities celebrating music, arts, culture and sports. Taking place from June 8 till   July 18, 2019, the inaugural edition of the festival aims to position Jeddah as the capital of tourism and entertainment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi tech investments to reach $135 billion by 2030

The annual growth in the contribution of AI is expected to range between 20-34 per cent per year across the Middle East, with the fastest growth in the Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. The $135 billion investment plan in digital transformation set by Vision 2030 will transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into the global epicentre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and supercharge the Saudi economy as a global powerhouse in the digital age. A PwC 2018 report estimated that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined. Of this, $6.6 trillion is likely to come from increased productivity and $9.1 trillion is likely to come from benefits to consumers. PwC’s report estimated that the Middle East is expected to accrue 2% of the total global benefits of AI in 2030. This is equivalent to US$320 billion where the largest gains are expected to accrue to Saudi Arabia as AI is expected to contribute over US$135.2 billion in 2030 to the economy, equivalent to 12.4% of GDP. In relative terms the UAE is expected to see the largest impact of close to 14% of 2030 GDP. AI contribution in Egypt is expected to reach US$42.7 bn in 2030, equivalent to 7.7% of the Egyptian GDP. To meet the demand for having a global platform gathering world class technology experts, the Saudi Emerging Technologies Forum will take place from November 11-13, 2019 in Kempinski Hotel in Riyadh.  The forum is a mega event that will gather over 500 government officials and senior level executives, more than 50 speakers, leading 12 panel discussions with the participation of 900 attendees, …

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Sharjah to host 50 countries at IWAS World Games 2019 from February 10-16

The Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019 confirmed that 1,462 participants from 50 countries are set to compete in the world’s largest wheelchair and amputee sports championship in Sharjah from February 10-16. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, the IWAS World Games has returned to the emirate for the second time after its successful debut in the city in 2011. The eighth edition of the world championship brings together seven games including archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing. New details of the upcoming biennial sports championship were revealed at a press conference held recently at Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa. Global athletes landing in Sharjah over the next few days are set to represent 50 competing nations confirmed by the Higher Organising Committee which include the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Algeria, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, India, Sweden, Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Russia, China, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, Poland, Pakistan, Norway, Kenya, Latvia, Macau, Azerbaijan, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Serbia, France, Georgia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Greece, Czech Republic, Austria, Belarus and Comoros.

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Sharjah boosts regional economic ties with Saudi Arabia

At a time when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan is well underway to reduce the nation’s public-sector dependence by 2030, a delegation from Sharjah visited two major cities of the Kingdom — Jeddah and Mecca recently to explore prospects for new partnerships in non-oil sectors, which will drive regional growth. The Sharjah FDI office (Invest in Sharjah) led the delegation, taking them on a ‘Sharjah Roadshow in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ through the two cities, and facilitated various networking meetings with leading Saudi businessmen, government representatives and industry experts. Through the two-day roadshow, Saudi Arabian players took a closer look at Sharjah’s rapidly diversifying and investor-friendly economy in major non-oil sectors including tourism, hospitality, real estate, trade, media, health, education, renewable energy and SMEs. They explored ways in which they can leverage these opportunities to promote and strengthen KSA’s private sector. The delegation comprised HE Aref Ali Al Tabour Al Nuaimi, Consul General of the UAE, Jeddah; HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Deputy Head — Industrial Investment, Sharjah Economic Development Department and Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah. The delegation also included Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Director — Government Relations, Sharjah Media City (Shams); Samer Bukamel, Vice President — Sales, ARADA and a number of officials and representatives from government and private bodies in Sharjah. Al Sarkal highlighted the strong bilateral relations the UAE and KSA share, especially in economic sectors. The UAE is the Kingdom’s biggest trade partner in the Gulf and greater Arab region. In 2017, the value of trade between the two countries was approximately $23 billion. He …

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Nasir Jamal Khan felicitated as DDP Game Changer

Nasir Jamal Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Al Naboodah Travel and Tourism, has been honoured with the DDP Game Changer award. With a career spanning over 30 years, Khan is an influential personality among travel and tourism industry players in the region due to his vast knowledge and experience in the two key markets of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. With a rich network of strong relationships, he has successfully placed his organisation as a leading travel company on the tourism map of the UAE. He gets the right travel apparatus to suit the clientele according to time and relevance.

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Marriott strengthens portfolio in KSA with three major deals

As part of its ongoing commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Marriott International has announced three deal signings in Jeddah with the Al Murjan Group. The projects will add over 500 rooms in the country and feature the Middle East’s first Delta Hotel by Marriott along with Jeddah’s first Marriott Executive Apartments and Four Points by Sheraton. “We are delighted to work with the Al Murjan Group on three exciting new projects in Saudi Arabia. In doing so, we will be expanding our brand portfolio in the region with the debut of Delta Hotels by Marriott while further strengthening the presence of Four Points by Sheraton and Marriott Executive Apartments,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director -Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. The Delta Hotels by Marriott Jeddah Al Salam and Marriott Executive Apartments Jeddah, Al Salam will be located on King Abdulaziz Road and Al Salam Road at the Globe Roundabout in Jeddah. Developed by the Al Murjan Group, the mixed-use project will include commercial and retail space along with the two hotels. The hotels are scheduled to open by 2023. Delta Hotels by Marriott Jeddah Al Salam will feature 175 rooms including 25 suites, two dining outlets, recreational facilities and a 3,000 sqm grand ballroom with pre-function space including four meeting rooms. Marriott Executive Apartments Jeddah, Al Salam will operate 100 stylish apartments (one, two and three bedrooms) with fully equipped kitchens along with a dining outlet, a fitness centre and swimming pool. Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah, Corniche Obhur will be located on the South Obhur Corniche and will include 306 rooms – 196 studio rooms and 110 one bedroom suites, two F&B outlets, a fitness …

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