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Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector set to receive $11.2 billion investment

The program has a potential to create 120,000 new jobs and contribute $4 billion to the Kingdom's GDP.

Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector set to receive $11.2 billion investment
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

As Saudi Arabia embarks on a new chapter in its economic development, emphasizing tourism strongly, the kingdom is actively investing in infrastructure, preserving cultural heritage sites, and developing luxury resorts to support this burgeoning sector.

The Ministry of Tourism unveiled a new initiative at the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s standing as a premier global tourism destination.

The “Hospitality Investment Enablers” (HIE) program seeks to attract a staggering $11 billion in private investment to the hospitality sector by 2030.

Eng. Mahmoud Abdulhadi, Deputy Minister of Tourism for Destination Enablement, highlighted the program’s transformative impact, projecting the creation of 120,000 new jobs and a $4 billion boost to the kingdom’s GDP. He emphasized the Hospitality Investment Enabler (HIE) initiative as a pivotal component of the broader Tourism Investment Enablers Program (TIEP), aligned with the objectives of Vision 2030.

The announcement follows a great year for Saudi tourism, as the kingdom welcomed over 106 million tourists in 2023, surpassing a significant Vision 2030 milestone seven years ahead of schedule.

Building upon this momentum, the Hospitality Investment Enabler (HIE) initiative aims to substantially enhance hotel room capacity, targeting over 500,000 rooms by 2030. This ambitious expansion is anticipated to draw in 150 million tourists annually, firmly establishing Saudi Arabia as a key player in the global tourism landscape.

The HIE presents an enticing proposition for investors, featuring access to government-owned land under favorable terms, streamlined development procedures, and regulatory adjustments to minimize operational expenses. This concerted effort to reduce barriers resonates with the Ministry’s goal of positioning Saudi Arabia as an appealing investment destination.

Abdulhadi stressed the initiative’s overarching goal of broadening and diversifying tourism offerings while bolstering tourism infrastructure. The Ministry actively engaged with international investors at IHIF, extending invitations to participate in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious initiative to redefine global tourism standards.

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