Saudi-based Tourism Development Fund (TDF) signed a tripartite agreement with Ennismore, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing lifestyle hospitality companies, and Al Rajhi Capital, a leading asset manager in the kingdom, to establish a hospitality investment fund with a capital of SR1.5 billion ($400 million) that will advance lifestyle hotels.
Ennismore is a joint venture between Sharan Pasricha, founder & Co-CEO, and Accor, bringing together a lifestyle powerhouse of 14 brands with 101 operating properties globally, and 137 in the pipeline.
The Ennismore brands include: 21c Museum Hotel, 25hours, Delano, Gleneagles, Hyde, JO&JOE, Mama Shelter, Mondrian, Morgans Originals, SLS, SO/, The Hoxton, Tribe and Working From.
The move is aimed at helping enhance promising sector-leading opportunities in various tourist destinations within the kingdom.
This partnership deal compliments the initial endeavour in October last year when TDF and Ennismore signed the MoU to launch an investment fund focused on developing lifestyle hotels in the kingdom at the 5th edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII).
Under this latest agreement, the companies will identify locations and provide financing options for projects throughout the kingdom.
TDF said it will invest in the newly established investment fund, while Ennismore will lead on developing and operating these projects under the umbrella of its lifestyle brands. Al Rajhi Capital will manage the investment fund and attract investments, it added.
The agreement was signed by TDF Chief Executive Officer Qusai Al Fakhri, Ennismore Co-CEO Gaurav Bhushan and Al Rajhi Capital CEO Waleed AlRashed AlHumaid at a key ceremony held in Riyadh.
"This partnership shows our commitment and dedication to our initial MoUs and marks an important milestone towards fulfilling the targets of the National Tourism Strategy to consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a global tourist destination by leveraging the promising opportunities the Saudi tourism sector presents," noted Al Fakhri.
"Joining forces with both Ennismore and Al Rajhi Capital is yet another positive step towards realizing our ambitions to advance the tourism sector. We seek to continuously deliver new and diversified options, enabling the private sector to invest in the growing hospitality sector, with a view to enrich visitors' experiences while achieving sustainable tourism and economic development," he added.
Bhushan said: "Our partnership with TDF and Al Rajhi is a significant part of our growth strategy for the region. Ennismore is pleased to further cement its commitment to the growing Saudi hospitality sector through employing, training, and advancing national competencies, as well as providing tourism services that would build closer connections with international and local tourists."
"We are pleased to collaborate with TDF and to contribute to the promotion of the tourism sector in the kingdom," he stated.
AlHumaid said: "For Al Rajhi, this agreement reflects the importance of partnership between the private and public sector and also opens up lucrative investment opportunities where capitals can be invested in national programmes geared towards the tourism industry."
"The industry has shifted to the development of modern and sustainable tourist destinations, capitalizing on the extraordinary potential and wealth of our national heritage, tourism and landmarks that help draw in more local and global investments and push us closer to reaching our national economic objectives," he stated.
"This also reflects Al Rajhi Capital's unwavering commitment to delivering the most effective and cutting-edge financing and investment solutions," he added.
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