Growth in Hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia
The hospitality sector of Saudi Arabia is growing at an immensely fast speed. Saudi Arabia’s hospitality industry is considered as one of the most profitable industries, contributing huge amount of foreign exchange to the country’s economy. Hotels are an integral part of any tourism industry as they play an important role to the hospitality sector by offering quality services and facilities to its visitors.
Hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia depends mostly on two sectors. The first is the revenue generated from business sector mostly due to the fact that Saudi Arabia is among the richest Oil producing nations. The second segment is the religious tourism as Saudi Arabia is home to two of the holiest places of Islam.
Riyadh, being the capital city of the Kingdom attracts more business tourists as most of the corporate houses are based out of Riyadh. It is believed to have the largest number of business visitors and the hospitality market is considered to be the strongest in the kingdom. Riyadh is home to all segment hotels with exceptional high quality services. A lot of midscale hotels which are concentrated on the outskirts of the region are well equipped and offer quality services. High end hotels are mostly concentrated in the city center and offer world class facilities to all its visitors. The occupancy level remains usually high throughout the year and has scope to accommodate more hotels in the future as there are forecasts that Saudi Arabia will continue to see enormous economic growth in the coming years.
Jeddah is another city which has a huge occupancy rate because of its strategic position. It outperforms all other major cities on the back drop of a strong domestic leisure it offers. Jeddah also being the second largest business city in Saudi Arabia also has a lot of business tourists. Jeddah is also the gateway to the Holy city of Makkah. The major expansion plan of Makkah will result in a huge demand in this city. Jeddah boasts of some high quality hotels; however the lack of high quality service apartments in the region is an opportunity for big players in the market to make a foothold in this region.
One of the major remarkable features of the Saudi Hospitality sector is that it has attracted the best hotel brands from all across the globe due to its huge potential.
The Riyadh hospitality market is the strongest in the Kingdom with the corporate thronging the city and boasting the tourism. High average room rates for all sectors in Riyadh have lead to occupancy thresholds which are supportable by the market.
Due to the high number of quality hotels in the pipeline, rich class hotels should be considered only for prime and exclusive locations within the city centre. Semi luxury and budget hotels may be considered for strategic sites or as dual brand combinations. A lot of foreign brands have already established their presence in the market and a lot of these brands are already in the final stage of opening up more branches to accommodate the ever increasing demand for hotel rooms in the region. Other brands who have not yet explored the region are making serious plans of setting up their bases in the region as well.
Due to this enormous growth in the hospitality sector, Saudi Arabia continues to offer huge job opportunities in the region. The hospitality sector is one of the largest employers in the country as it offers employment opportunity to both professional and unskilled job seekers. By 2016, the number of hotels will go up in the Kingdom and will result in more opportunities. This will also contribute to Saudization as the hotels will aim to recruit 40% of their employees from the Saudi population.
With this ever growing tourism business and the enormous expansion of the hospitality industry, the market is expected to continue to offer Investment opportunities & Job Opportunities in the coming years.