Hilton Garden Inns to Debut in Saudi Arabia

Hilton Hotels Corp. has unveiled plans to develop 13 Hilton Garden Inns, comprising a total of 2,500 rooms, in Saudi Arabia. The plan will mark the Garden Inn brand’s entry into the Saudi market. Hilton’s partner on the project is Abdulmohsen Al-Hokair Group for Tourism and Development. The first property is expected to open in 2009 in the city of Riyadh. Additional developments will take place over the next five years in cities across Saudi Arabia. Hilton Hotels already operates four properties in Saudi Arabia; three Hilton hotels in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah, in addition to the 46-all suite The Waldorf=Astoria Collection property, Qasr Al Sharq. “We are delighted to have signed our first multi-unit Hilton Garden Inn agreement in the Middle East….” noted Jean-Paul Herzog, Hilton’s Middle East and Africa president, “This agreement is a testament to the country’s tremendous growth potential.” Sami Al-Hokair, executive vice president of Al Hokair said, “We are delighted to be working with Hilton on this multi-unit agreement in Saudi Arabia…. their global presence and experience gives us the confidence that this alliance will be a great success.” The Saudi Tourism Higher Authority has been making an concerted effort to further tourism to the nation, which has always attracted religious travelers. The Authority is trying to develop more national and international conferences, as well as domestic tourism, which alone is expected to generate some SR101 billion by 2020.