As the second day of the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) got underway in Berlin, Hilton and Shomoul Holding Co.—a joint venture of three Middle Eastern businesses—signed an agreement to develop and operate four hotels in The Avenues–Riyadh, the largest mixed-use development project in Saudi Arabia.
The SAR13 billion ($3.4 billion) project will include five multipurpose towers housing hotels, exhibition space, conference halls, residential apartments, offices and medical facilities.
The development also will include one of the world’s largest malls, with a leasable area of approximately 400,000 square meters housing more than 1,300 stores, some of which will be modeled on a traditional souk. The project is slated to be completed in 2023.
Hilton will operate four of its brands at The Avenues–Riyadh, a 350-room Waldorf Astoria, a 400-room Conrad, a 500-room Hilton Garden Inn and a 150-room Canopy by Hilton–the first of Hilton’s lifestyle Canopy brand in the Middle East.
In accordance with the Saudi Arabian government’s Vision 2030, The Avenues- Riyadh will promote and support increased tourism into the Kingdom, which currently accounts for some 9.4 percent of the gross domestic product and is expected to rise almost 5 percent per year for at least the next 10 years.
Shomoul Holding is a joint venture of Mabanee (reportedly the largest real estate company in Kuwait in terms of market value), the Saudi-based Al Fozan Group and the Kuwait-based Alshaya Group, which focuses on the Middle East’s commerce, retail and real estate sectors, as well as in investment, vehicles and projects.