Riyad real estate investment trust (REIT) has signed a contract with hospitality giant Marriott International to operate its Burj Rafal Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The operation of the hotel will be handed over to Marriott in Q1 2020 and will remain open for guests until then. Following a renovation period, the property will be rebranded as a JW Marriott Hotel - marking the debut of the brand in Saudi Arabia.

Abdulaziz Al Mousa, Riyad REIT fund manager, commented: “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. 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."

"Working with Marriott International to operate the asset under the JW brand – the first in the kingdom – will deliver an unprecedented level of service and accommodation in Riyadh given the hotel’s diversified amenities and location. The hotel will represent the hospitality element within the master plan of the future mixed-use project – Capital Gate – that will be developed through Riyad Capital – the fund manager of Riyad REIT. Capital Gate will offer more than 100,000-sq-m of office, retail, and entertainment space that will be connected to the hotel – offering a true mixed-use atmosphere,” he said.

Jerome Briet, chief development officer, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International, commented: “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 opportunity 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 based and commitment to deliver value for our owners.”

The property is part a 64-storey skyscraper, the one-of-a-kind tower in Riyadh is home to residential apartments, and STC Academy, the Saudi Telecom Company’s technology and leadership academy. The hotel will be also part of the future Capital Gate community, which is strategically located between King Abdullah Financial District and Avenues Mall, expected to be the largest shopping mall in the kingdom, and will be benefit from the connectivity to Riyadh metro.

Following the completion of the rebrand into a JW Marriott Hotel, the property will cater to sophisticated self-assured travellers seeking The JW Treatment. - TradeArabia News Service

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