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Saudi Arabia

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle East

Meet the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East

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Forbes Middle East recently named its list of the top 5-star hotel brands in the Middle East, a group of 20 that was determined based on the status of their hotels in the region.

At the top of the list is the Swiss hospitality company, Mövenpick, which has 47 five star hotels spread throughout 10 countries in The Middle East, adding up to a total of 12,592 rooms. Mövenpick is followed by Hilton Hotels and Resorts, which has 29 hotels and 9,631 rooms spread throughout eight countries in the Middle East. In third place was Sheraton, which has a hospitality presence in 10 of the region’s countries.

Meet the Top 5-Star Hotel Brands in the Middle EastForbes reports that to formulate its list, associated researchers screened more than 800 five star hotels from 190 total brands, gathering their information primarily from those hotels’ websites as well as from some of the other major travel websites within the industry. They also determined three benchmarks to use in the ranking: the number of countries that a brand is represented in, the total number of estimated hotels and rooms, and equal weights. This list, however, did not take into account the revenue numbers that were generated by each brand, and it did not calculate the average price of the rooms there. Neither of those financial concerns were factored into this study, meaning that sheer quantity of properties and their spread were the backbone of this ranking.

Of the top 20 brands that landed on Forbes’ list, there were 375 hotels and resorts that added up to a grand total of 116,454 rooms in 17 total countries, those countries being: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, and Algeria.

The three most dominant countries were no surprise, with those being Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, which is home to the red hot tourism market of Dubai, one of — if not the most — popular markets in the entire world. Hotels and resorts in those three countries take up 66.4 percent of the list, adding up to 349 total properties and 71.9 percent of total rooms, with 83,711 rooms. These are numbers that are nothing to scoff at.

The other brands represented on the list include: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Blu, Le Meridien, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, and Four Seasons, among others.

www.forbesmiddleeast.com

Four Seasons Mecca

Four Seasons to open hotel in Mecca

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Jabal Omar Development Company (JODC), a leading developer in the Middle East, have announced plans for a new Four Seasons hotel in the Holy City of Mecca as part of the Jabal Omar integrated real estate development.

Four Seasons Hotel Mecca will be the company’s second location in Saudi Arabia, joining Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre in offering the most luxurious accommodations and personalised service in the region.

Award-winning architectural firm Foster + Partners was chosen following an international design competition for this prestigious project. Impressive in appearance and deeply thoughtful in its concept, the multi-towered building atop a retail podium cascades down toward the Grand Mosque, seamlessly integrating its public spaces into the Haram. An innovative design allows clear views of the Kaaba from every guest room and suite, each of which will feature one or more private prayer rooms. In total, there will be approximately 375 guest rooms and suites, plus approximately 90 Four Seasons Private Residences.

Additional features of the Hotel include three restaurants and lounges, a ballroom and meeting rooms, and a spa and fitness centre. The Hotel will also offer special facilities and programs for families.

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya opens in Saudi Arabia

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Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, the first Hyatt Regency hotel to open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Developed by Mohammed A. Al-Swailem Co. for Commercial Investment, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya is the third Hyatt-branded hotel to open in the KSA, joining Park Hyatt Jeddah Marina, Club and Spa and Hyatt Regency Makkah Jabal Omar.

Guestrooms and Suites
Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya offers 261 spacious guestrooms, including 40 suites, spread across 28 floors. All guestrooms and suites feature panoramic views of the vibrant city of Riyadh, and incorporate subtle local touches and design elements, including patterned leather panels that are embroidered with a contemporary interpretation of a middle eastern mashrabiya motif.

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya

Located on the 26th floor with spectacular views, the hotel’s Regency Club offers guests exclusive services, including complimentary internet access, use of the lounge meeting room, breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening beverages with hors d’oeuvres.

Meetings and Events
Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya offers more than 10,700 square feet (1,000 square meters) of extensive conference and banquet facilities, including the Al Loulou’a Ballroom, which can be divided up into three separate rooms and seat up to 500 people theatre-style. With nine flexible event venues, the hotel is the perfect venue for a variety of events such as weddings, social banquets, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences.

Wellness and Relaxation
Guests are invited to recharge in the hotel’s Sokoun Spa, which offers four treatment rooms and a variety of wellness services, including relaxation massages and therapeutic body treatments. A traditional Moroccan Hammam invites guests to unwind from the day’s stress with a cleansing steam. The hotel also features fitness facilities, an indoor swimming pool, a multi-purpose sports court, and a Camp Hyatt kid’s club.

Anantara Jeddah - Saudi Arabia

Minor Hotels to open Saudi property – Anantara Jeddah

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Minor Hotels, a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 155 hotels and resorts in 23 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has announced the debut of its luxury Anantara brand in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Scheduled to open in 2019, Anantara Jeddah Resort will be located on the waterfront in Obhur in the city’s upmarket northern district and will offer 226 guest rooms and 102 two to five bedroom villas. The property is owned by SAB Group and was previously a luxury residential compound which will undergo a renovation and transformation led by cutting edge international design architects.

Facilities will include a selection of dining options with both indoor and outdoor seating, fitness and swimming pool areas, a kid’s and teen’s club and a library. For business guests, there is a 500 square metre meeting room which is divisible by two, plus two further meeting rooms. The resort has two receptions and lobbies, one dedicated for VIP arrivals.

Spa and wellness will be a major focus of the resort, which will offer a female and male Anantara Spa and an impressive wellness centre. An extensive selection of wellness journeys will be available, as part of Anantara’s ‘Balance’ programme. These will include detox, de-stress, weight management, anti-aging and rejuvenation, along with therapies such as Ayurveda, hammam and reflexology. Guests will be able to enjoy wellness cuisine and healthy cooking classes, with activities including yoga, pilates and Tai Chi. In addition, the resort will offer a regular programme of wellness-focused educational workshops and special events.

The Obhur area is undergoing a significant transformation anchored by the development of the one kilometre high Kingdom Tower which will open in 2020 and will become Jeddah’s new city centre. The Anantara Jeddah will offer stunning views of the nearby Kingdom Tower.

Jeddah is one of the preferred destinations among domestic leisure tourists and religious pilgrims as it is the gateway to the holy cities. The area’s transport and airport infrastructure is currently being enhanced, including a new high speed rail access scheduled to open in 2018 which will connect Jeddah to the airport, Makkah and Medina.

Conrad Makkah

Conrad opens hotel in the heart of Makkah

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Conrad Hotels & Resorts today celebrates the opening of its first hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the 438-room Conrad Makkah, set in the heart of the Holy City and overlooking the Sacred Mosque, Al Masjid Al Haram, and the Holy Kaabah.

John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, said: “Conrad creates inspired experiences for our guests in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations. We are delighted to open our first luxury hotel in the Holy City and begin welcoming pilgrims and guests.”

Rudi Jagersbacher, Area president, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said: “The arrival of Conrad Hotels & Resorts to Makkah marks the addition of our second brand into the city and our 11th hotel into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With another 28 Hilton Worldwide properties in development, we are extremely proud to offer incredible variety and choice for travellers to the region.”

The hotel also features stunning interior décor inspired by both modern and traditional Islamic design and complemented by contemporary art works.

Conrad Makkah offers an on-site Masjid for up to 1,000 guests with audio connection to Al Haram. The hotel also has 12 elevators that go directly to Al Haram, providing quick direct access during peak prayer times. For intimate meetings, the hotel offers two meeting spaces for up to 100 guests as well as a business centre and Executive Lounge.

The hotel’s full time Concierge will assist guests in planning a variety of local activities through the Conrad 1/3/5 programme, a curated collection of inspired experiences in art, shopping, adventure, and gastronomy, where guests can discover local culture from an insider’s perspective.

Guests booking a stay at the hotel can also utilise the popular Conrad Concierge mobile app, which gives global luxury travellers the ability to customise details of their hotel stay before, during, and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. Whether it’s pre-selecting bath amenities or checking-in while in-transit from the airport, guests can access a variety of features by using the app.

Starwood Middle East 100 hotels by 2020

Starwood targets 100 hotels in Middle East by 2020

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From the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced that it is on track to grow its portfolio in the Middle East to 100 hotels by 2020.

This follows five new deal signings that will add over 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Starwood will also open five hotels in 2016 across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“The Middle East continues to be one of Starwood’s fastest growing markets and we are immensely committed to the trust that owners have in our world-class brands,” said Michael Wale, President of Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Our long-established presence in the region, and the value we deliver, has set us ahead to further expand our footprint and strengthen our guest loyalty.”

“We continue to strengthen Starwood’s leadership position in the Middle East through an aggressive growth strategy that will increase our footprint by 75% in the next five years,” says Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Our flexible development approach, differentiated brands, loyal customer base and proven ability to drive asset value has made Starwood the ideal partner for developers in the region.”

Starwood’s newest hotel signings in the region include a Luxury Collection Hotel and Le Méridien in Lusail, Qatar; Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah Tahlia, Saudi Arabia; Four Points by Sheraton Unaizah, Saudi Arabia and Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.