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The Saudi Hotel Industry

Source: NCB Capital

Executive Summary

• The diverse product availability and the extraordinarily seasonal markets of Makkah and Madinah, and in recent years Jeddah and Riyadh, have allowed the Hotel Industry to develop in a very rapid yet efficient manner.

• By assuming that each room could accommodate at least two persons, the aggregate capacity of hotel rooms in the Kingdom would be adequate for 135 million visitors' nights, which will easily cater for the Saudi Arabian population many times over.

• In mid-2008, a package of new relaxed visa rules were released allowing many groups from Europe to visit Jeddah with a group tourist visa, which years before was unheard of.

• Based on the licensed room capacity, the deluxe hotels comprised 5.7% of the market total, first-class hotels 22.2%, second-class hotels 40.9%, third-class 29.7%, and rest-houses 1.4% .

• Hotel industry sources report that the performance of deluxe hotels in Jeddah has improved dramatically by 2008 compared to 2001, largely on the back of a successful summer festival program and notable improvement in macroeconomic conditions.

• The market for hotels in Saudi Arabia is divided by regions: 1) Makkah and Jeddah, 2) Madinah , 3) Eastern region and 4) Riyadh. Riyadh however is primarily a corporate destination as the city has undergone a steady growth over the last two decades because of the Mega government and business projects being planned and executed.

• The accommodation market in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah is highly seasonal, however, recent relaxation of visa regulations combined with incentives offered by the deluxe hotels in these cities have ensured a more even distribution of pilgrims visitation.

• Growth of pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah will continue to generate demand-supply imbalances as nearly 80% of the total demand converges in just two to three months of the year.

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