Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, announced that Raffles Makkah Palace was Awarded the “Middle East’s Leading Luxury Hotel” 2011 Award at the World Travel Awards. Mr. Mohamed Arkobi, Vice President and Managing Director, Makkah Fairmont Raffles Hotels International was present to receive the award. KHC holds a 35% stake in Fairmont Raffles Holdings International (FRHI) that manages the Raffles Makkah hotel.
Prince Alwaleed commented: “Our Saudi real estate and hotel projects are solid anchors for Kingdom Holding’s profitability.”
In May 2011, Prince Alwaleed was awarded the best influential figure in tourism in the Middle East in 2011, as part of the World Travel Award, Dr. Nahla Al Anbar Private Executive Assistant to HRH received the award on behalf of Prince Alwaleed at the ceremony held in Dubai.
In February 2011, Prince Alwaleed attended the signing of Business Gate’s agreement for Fairmont to manage a new 287-room luxury hotel and 4,000 square meter convention centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia scheduled to open late 2012. The project is the second Fairmont in Saudi Arabia, as the first is the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, a Fairmont Hotel. Upon his arrival His Highness was greeted by Sheikh Salamah Bin Melahi Bin Saidan, Chairman, Tatweer, Dr. Abdulrahman Al Zamil, Chairman of Business Gate, Mr. Mohamed Al Dhabban, Manager Director, Business Gate, Mr. Chris Cahill, President Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Mr. Mohamed Arkobi, Vice President and Managing Director Makkah Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. The occasion was also attended by Eng. Talal Almaiman, Executive Director for Development and Domestic Investments and Mr. Fahad Al Ofi, Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman.
Prince Alwaleed has investments in five hotel management companies, through KHC, managing more than 300 hotels around the world, which are Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hotels and Resorts Raffles Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and Swissotel.
Fairmont Raffles is an integral component of KHC’s diverse hotel portfolio. In 2010, KHC announced an US$847 Million transaction with Qatari Diar involving Fairmont Raffles Holdings International (FRHI). Under the agreements, Voyager has acquired for a combination of cash and other consideration a 40% shareholding in FRHI. In addition, QDHP has undertaken to provide FRHI with a number of future management contracts for hotels that will be branded either Fairmont, Raffles or Swissotel. In 2006, KHC and Colony completed the acquisition of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts which was combined with the Raffles Hotels Group.
Furthermore in 2010, Prince Alwaleed visited and toured the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, a Fairmont Hotel. The Makkah Clock Royal Tower is the grandest and most prestigious hotel in the Middle East. During his visit, HRH also toured the Raffles Makkah Palace, Swissôtel Makkah (under construction) and Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah. Kingdom Holding has significant interests in the four hotel management companies.
The extensive project, called Abraj Al Bait, features a five-star Fairmont property with over 1,000 guestrooms. The complex also includes a selection of residential offerings as well as retail space, restaurants and extensive convention facilities.
Recently, KHC announced the development of the second Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at “Kingdom Oasis” will be the center piece of a 3.8M sqm residential development part of the of “Kingdom Riyadh Land” that is16M sqm, will be offering unparalleled living community experience in Riyadh. The objective of the Four Seasons in “Kingdom Oasis” is to provide the best guest experience and living environment. The Oasis will complement the Four Seasons Riyadh, with a more relaxed, and entertaining environment.
Moreover, KHC announced that it had sold 1M sqm of land west of “Kingdom Riyadh land” for SR250 per sqm to the Real Estate Investment Company Ltd. (one of its subsidiaries, 38.89% owned by KHC) for the development of the second “Kingdom City” as the first “Kingdom City” was opened in 1999 and has 100% occupancy. On the east end of the “Kingdom Riyadh land” is “Kingdom Oasis” which has a main and complete infrastructure where the FS Hotel will be developed. Moreover, the Company announced that Omrania were awarded the design of the master plan design and infrastructure of “Kingdom Riyadh Land”.
At the core of the community, the Four Seasons Resort will be taking advantage of a 75,000m2 man-made lake by stretching along the waterfront. The design will have its roots in the Arab architectural tradition, with more relaxed elements in a Mediterranean resort style.