The four-day World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 22nd Global Summit opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 28 under the theme “Travel for a Better Future.”

Zawya Projects has summarised some of the new projects and initiatives unveiled until now at the summit.

SEVEN’s $13.3bln boost to Saudi hospitality

The Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN), wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), plans to invest more than 50 billion Saudi riyals ($13.30 billion) to establish and operate 21 full-service entertainment destinations, state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The move will include opening more than 150 unique entertainment areas in 14 cities around the Kingdom as SEVEN starts construction work on its 3-billion-riyal entertainment destination in Al-Hamra district, Riyadh.

SEVEN Chairman Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Daoud stated the company is working to build the future of the entertainment sector by developing and operating more than 21 entertainment destinations in 14 cities around the Kingdom.

TDF partners to bring lifestyle developments

The Tourism Development Fund (TDF), lifestyle hospitality company Ennismore and Al Rajhi Capital, a Saudi asset management company, have identified multiple sites to develop lifestyle developments across the Kingdom, including urban beachfront sites.

The projects will be developed as part of the newly formed Lifestyle Hospitality Fund, which recently received approval from the Saudi market regulator, Capital Market Authority, SPA reported. 

The fund aims at advancing Ennismore’s lifestyle hotels in the Kingdom with a targeted fund size of SAR 1.5 billion.

The fund will significantly impact the tourism offering in the kingdom as it will facilitate the development of over 10 lifestyle hotels across 10 cities.

Diriyah gets more global hotel brands

Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) announced adding 16 new global hotel brands to its hospitality portfolio, taking the total to 32 hotel management agreements with the world’s leading hotel brands, SPA said.

The first hotel in Diriyah is planned to open in 2023.

The 16 hotel brands slated to open will be situated across two DGDA masterplan areas – Diriyah and Wadi Safar. The infrastructure of Diriyah’s first phase of hotel construction will feature an interpretation of the local landscape and traditional Najdi design themes, whereas the next phase will offer visitors a more evolved Najdi design experience.  

TDF and Hilton explore opportunities

TDF and global hotel operator Hilton signed a cooperation agreement to promote the formation of a strategic relationship aimed at launching several leisure hospitality projects in tourist sites in the Kingdom, according to SPA.

Hilton will contribute its global experience to help the TDF and develop several hospitality facilities as well as tourist and entertainment attractions, including water parks, entertainment venues, live entertainment shows, restaurants and cafes, adventure activities, and other hospitality and entertainment facilities.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)