With a planned opening in 2019, Swissôtel Al Khobar will be situated within the MASIC Business Park development, occupying an enviable location within the urban area’s commercial and residential district. Encompassing around 55,000 square metres (approximately 592,000 square feet) of retail and prime office space, this development will become a landmark in the Eastern Province.
In addition to 180 guestrooms, Swissôtel Al Khobar will feature over 1,300 square metres (approximately 14,000 square feet) of meeting and conference space and a variety of food and beverage offerings from Café Swiss and Swiss Gourmet to a pool and grill restaurant. With an emphasis on vitality and fitness, the hotel will also feature the brand’s signature Pürovel Spa & Sport along with an outdoor rooftop pool. This mixed use property will also present 20 exclusive and contemporary luxury residential apartments, branded under the Swissôtel Living concept offering high-end amenities and round-the-clock service to residents.
The announcement marks Swissôtel’s, and parent company FRHI Hotels & Resorts’, first venture into the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in the eastern part of the country. With the city of Al Khobar as its commercial centre, the property is close to Dhahran city, home to the world’s largest energy company – Saudi Aramco, as well as the US Consulate and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. Overall, the province is just a short distance away from the Arabian Gulf, and is linked to neighbouring Bahrain by a 25 kilometre causeway.
“Continuing our pipeline growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key focus for our world-leading luxury hotel brands,” said Sami Nasser, senior vice president, operations, Middle East, Africa and India for FRHI. “Since our debut in the region over five years ago with our multi-branded hotel complex in Makkah, our brands have been well positioned to appeal to both business and religious tourism in this increasing sophisticated travel market.”
The project is being developed by MASIC, one of the largest investment companies in Saudi Arabia with an extensive portfolio of investments locally and globally featuring financial services, real estate, agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and retail. MASIC has contributed lately to many real estate projects such as the London’s South Bank Tower, a retail shopping centre on King Fahd road in Riyadh as well as the development of a luxury residential tower and state-of-the-art office space in Jeddah and Thakher, a mega mixed-use project in Makkah which is currently under development.
“MASIC is proud to join forces with FRHI to develop the first Swissôtel in the Eastern Province” said Ihsan Bafakih, CEO of MASIC. “We believe that MASIC Business Park and the addition of Swissôtel will form an impressive environment for living, working and leisure and will hopefully be a landmark that our clients and tenants will enjoy.”
The addition of Swissôtel Al Khobar complements a growing portfolio of FRHI-managed hotels currently under development in Saudi Arabia, including Swissôtel, Raffles and Fairmont hotels in Jeddah all slated to open before 2020, in addition to Fairmont Riyadh, Business Gate which will open in 2016. Swissôtel flags will also be raised throughout the Middle East within the next five years with Swissôtel Jadaf in the United Arab Emirates, Swissôtel Citystars Sharm El Sheikh and a property in ‘New Cairo’ - Swissôtel Katameyah in Egypt.
In total, FRHI has 19 hotels and more than 7,000 guestrooms open and operating in the Middle East, Africa and India with another 18 hotels in varying stages of development representing 5,000 rooms. Swissôtel Al Khobar becomes FRHI’s eighth hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with three hotels representing more than 3,000 guestrooms open, and another five with a total room of 1,200 guestrooms currently in the pipeline.