We find out more about this landmark deal.
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Riyad REIT (real estate investment trust) recently announced the signing of a contract with Marriott International which will see the Burj Rafal Hotel in Riyadh be re-branded as a JW Marriott property before Q1 2020 runs out.
Until the American chain officially takes over, the hotel will do business as usual. After this, the property will undergo renovation before re-opening as Saudi Arabia’s first-ever JW-branded hotel.
Abdul Aziz Al-Mousa, Riyad REIT fund manager, said: “We are excited to work with Marriott International to operate Burj Rafal Hotel — the tallest operational building in Riyadh. Marriott International will take over the operations of the hotel in Q1 2020 and will undergo an improvement plan during the year, which includes the introduction of new dining concepts such as Kahwet Al-Mandaloun and JW Grill.”
Overhauling the rooms as well as adding extra dining venues will bring the hotel in line with JW Marriott’s brand standards and ensure the property will be the success both Riyad REIT and Marriott is hoping for.
“The combination of one of the largest hotel operator’s luxury brands (JW Marriott) in a flagship property with new lifestyle dining options achieves our objective of positioning a destination in the northern growth corridor of Riyadh,” Mr Al-Mousa went on to say.
“Riyad REIT has been a proponent of the Kingdom’s tourism drive and expanded business potential and has been one of the only REITs with a strong focus on hospitality.”
As is befitting for a JW Marriott, the hotel will be in the city’s highest skyscraper. The 64-story tower is also home to residences and the Saudi Telecom Company’s leadership academy.
In the future, Riyadh’s new JW will be part of the Capital Gate Community, a development strategically set between King Abdullah Financial District and Avenues Mall, which is slated to become KSA’s largest retail centre.
Jerome Briet, chief development officer, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, said:
“We are delighted to collaborate with Riyad Capital on this landmark project. Saudi Arabia remains an important growth market for the company, and we continue to see opportunities to further diversify our footprint in the Kingdom.”
“We are also seeing an increasing demand for conversion deals in the country, which is a strong reflection of Marriott’s powerful network, compelling brand portfolio, loyal customer base and commitment to deliver value for our owners,” Mr Briet concluded.
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