Abdul Latif Jameel eyes hotel brand in Kingdom

Source:  www.saudigazette.com.sa

JEDDAH: Abdul Latif Jameel Real Estate Investment Company has announced its intention to create a Saudi-cultured hotel brand which will open its first property in the second half of 2011.

Egyptian national Mahmoud Mokhtar has been appointed as chief operating officer for the hotel division, which is so new it does not even have a name yet, and he will drive the company’s growth aspirations within Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region.

Mokhtar foresees promising growth opportunities for the company in the Kingdom over the next two years and further expansion and growth in the Middle East region in a five-year span. His first job will be to build a Saudi-originating hotel brand and culture.

“The company’s strategy for the hotel division is aimed at introducing to the world a new concept of hotel management based on genuine Saudi professional hospitality,” he said. “We aim to build our presence in the kingdom first and my role will be to ensure that this is achieved based on a solid strategy, a relevant brand and strong presence. This will nurture the Saudi culture, promote the Saudi dream and create new job opportunities in the kingdom as well as contributing to the wellbeing of the community.

“We have a number of openings lined up for the next two years, phase one will open during the second half of 2011, with a 1,778-room four-star hotel in Makkah. The hotel will be our flagship, owned and managed by the company.

There are also three upcoming projects with a total of 9,000 hotel rooms in Makkah, based on a mid-market, full-service hotel concept, with food courts and residential apartments.”
Mokhtar has 23 highly distinguished years of Middle Eastern and International hotel experience with multinational hotel chains, including stints in the US and the UAE as well as a variety of locations within Egypt.

He was most recently vice president for Egypt, Lebanon and North Africa for an international hotel chain based in Cairo.

The Kingdom is investing heavily to the tune of SR1,496 billion to upgrade its infrastructure over 5 year period until 2013, recent reports said.

The region is placing top most priority on infrastructure development across industries such as power, transportation, education, retail, real estate and oil and gas among others.

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