Riu expands in Africa with Senegal hotels

Two new hotels will be developed on a 25-hectare site in the Pointe Sarène area. Photo credit: Riu Hotels & Resorts

Looking to gain ground in Africa, Spain's Riu Hotels & Resorts chain has purchased a 25-hectare site in the Pointe Sarène area on Senegal’s west coast to build at least two new hotels.

The first hotel will be in the company's Classic model with an estimated 500 rooms, while the second will be a Riu Palace with room for 800 guests. Riu is planning "efficient construction" to minimize the environmental impact of the project.

The planned investment—part of the chain’s partnership with SAPCO (Society for the Development and Promotion of the Senegal Coast and Tourist Zone)—amounts to €150 million, which includes the purchase of the site and the development of the future hotels in the destination. The project is in the draft planning stage and due to launch in November.


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Riu already owns six hotels in Africa—five in Cape Verde and one in Tanzania—and operates a further five hotels in Morocco.

The region has seen support from local and tourist authorities, particularly in the completion of the Blaise Diagne International Airport two years ago. The airport is 35 kilometers from the site Riu has acquired, and a highway links it to the city of Dakar. To complement that highway and the hotel chain’s project, the city is building a bypass to link the highway to the Riu hotels. 

In total, Riu Hotels & Resorts now has 93 hotels in 19 countries. The company reportedly is the third largest hotel chain in Spain in terms of revenue and the fourth largest in number of rooms.