Hospitality giant Hilton has announced that it will open an additional 60 new hotels and create more than 10,000 new jobs in Saudi Arabia as part of its 600 percent expansion plan in the kingdom.

The company intends to expand its portfolio in the Gulf state to more than 75 properties, as well as introduce new hotel brands, a statement said on Wednesday. Hilton currently operates 15 hotels in Saudi Arabia and has another 46 properties under development. 

“This expansion will also support new tourism hotspots in the kingdom… helping deliver the goal of 100 million visitors by 2030 and boosting tourism’s contribution to GDP to 10 percent,” the statement said. 

The announcement comes after a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb and Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta in Riyadh. 

Good for Saudi tourism 

“Today’s commitment by Hilton to new hotels and creating more than 10,000 new jobs demonstrates their confidence in the progress being made in Saudi Arabia as we continue to develop and grow our tourism industry,” Al Khateeb said after the meeting. 

“We have an ambitious target of welcoming 100 million international and domestic visits by 2030. Working with world-leading hospitality and tourism businesses like Hilton to expand the range and scale of options available to tourists is a key part of our plans.”

Hilton will also provide training for Saudi nationals who want to take up a career in hospitality. During the first half of 2021, more than 148,600 Saudis have already been trained for new roles in tourism, Hilton said. 

Hilton has a global portfolio of 6,700 hotels in 122 countries and territories. In Saudi Arabia, it operates hotels under several brands, including Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, Double Tree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria ) 

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