Award-winning luxury serviced apartment operator Cheval Collection, which recently signed a deal for its second property in Dubai, is now turning its focus to Saudi Arabia as it continues to pursue global growth.

The company, which opened its first overseas property in Dubai last year and announced a man-agement agreement for Cheval Maison – Expo City Dubai recently, has identified growing demand in the region for experienced service apartment brands.

The attraction of the region for Cheval Collection comes as Saudi Arabia pursues its Vision 2030 project; part of a strategy to move away from dependence on income from oil and increase the con-tribution of tourism to GDP to more than 10% by 2030.

The country aims to attract 150 million tourists annually by the start of the next decade, with half of the demand to come from domestic travel.

To achieve this, the country is targeting additional accommodation of more than 300,000 keys, with luxury, technology and sustainability at its core.

While the country has a reputation for exceptional hotels, accommodation demand has become more diverse in recent years, with a study from travel group Almosafer reporting that the overall share of bookings for short-term rental serviced apartments saw an increase of 48% on the year last year.

International brands are expanding in Saudi Arabia with their apartment products, as guests and in-vestors look to the reassurance of the brands in this new segment.

Daniel Johansson, Director of Development & Acquisitions, Cheval Collection, said: “Saudi Arabia is no stranger to branded residences, but we are now seeing increasing interest in serviced apart-ments.

“Making the move to a new model can be daunting, but we are proud that our owners are reassured by the reputation we have earned after more than 40 years’ owning and operating serviced apart-ments. As owners ourselves, we are aligned with investors’ needs and understand the value of flex-ibility.

“For many of our guests, expansion into Saudi Arabia will mean a favourite brand coming home. We are delighted that we have a high level of loyalty and repeat bookings amongst our customers in the UK, many of whom stay with us while away from their homes in the Middle East.

“With domestic tourism a priority for Vision 2030, we anticipate welcoming many familiar faces as we look to introduce Cheval Collection to all major cities across the Kingdom.”

Cheval Collection opened Cheval Maison – The Palm Dubai in April last year. The property was the group’s first site outside the UK. Cheval Maison – Expo City Dubai will be the second property in Dubai under the Cheval Maison flag, with the repurposing of The Leadership Pavilion, one of the showpiece properties in Expo City Dubai.

Johansson added: “We share Vision 2030’s belief in luxury, technology and sustainability and we look forward to helping to bring this goal to life.” 

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