In 2012, Saudi Arabia saw a 10 per cent increase in tourism revenues over 2011, achieving a remarkable SR 61.8 billion, according to an expert.
Tourism companies in Saudi Arabia are aggressively investing their resources in the local market, particularly during the Hajj and Ummrah seasons, to further consolidate KSA’s leading footprint in the tourism landscape. As the 2013 Arabian Travel Market draws near in the UAE, these companies are geared up to take part in the event and exchange knowledge and expertise with their Emirati and Middle East counterparts.
Saudi tourism industry players are now keen on making the most of the opportunities presented at travel and tourism events to further boost the sector and achieve their target of raising SR67.8 billion worth of tourism revenues by 2016, mainly tapping the market for tourism for leisure and religious purposes in particular.
Youssef Abdul Latif Jameel, Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel Real Estate Investment Company (ALJREIC), pointed out that the hospitality industry in the middle-east region occupies the largest share of the global market, where Saudi Arabia alone accounts for 46 per cent. “The Kingdom is seeing massive investments and expansion projects in a strong attempt to attract larger number of tourists and visitors to the country. One of the many major projects is the expansion of King Abdul Aziz International Airport which is poised to accommodate up to 80 million travelers by 2035.”
Jameel further described the expansion strategy of the company which can be characterized by the SR 10 billion Jabal Al Ka’aba project as a genuine contribution to the development of Makkah and the Kingdom as it will help address the growing demand for hotel rooms in the city, especially during the Hajj and Ummrah seasons. Anjum Hotels is expected to add a total of 7,000 hotel rooms in a cluster of new hotels over the coming few years.
The Chairman of ALJREIC further confirmed the company’s participation in ATM 2013, where it will be showcasing its new 1743-rooms and suites Anjum Hotel in Makkah, the flagship hotel of Anjum Hotels in Jabal Al Ka’aba project. The hotel will open its doors for guests by Q3 2013.
Jameel finally lauded the wise directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince, as well as the directives of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) to develop the tourism industry and support major sector-related investments to maintain the increasing demands for both inbound and outbound tourism. He also underlined the ambitious government initiatives and development plans to engage the private sector and stimulate its role in the Saudi economy.