India-based global hospitality chain, OYO Hotels & Homes, will invest $1 billion to expand its operations in Saudi Arabia by adding luxury and upper-budget/mid-segment hotels to its chain in the coming months.
OYO has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) for the proposed investment plans, to develop a luxury hospitality ecosystem across multiple cities in the kingdom, the company has said.
The Indian hospitality major’s new investment plans in Saudi Arabia is aimed at tapping into the region’s emerging hospitality sector by providing standardised accommodation to travellers from GCC countries, India and other international tourists, including business and pilgrimage travellers.
“The luxury segment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds a lot of promise for us, given the rapid growth of the hospitality industry over the last few years,” Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes, has said.
“The Kingdom’s hospitality industry offers a huge, untapped opportunity and we will continue to invest in it and expand OYO’s presence in the region,’’ Agarwal added.
OYO, which entered the Saudi market early this year, has expanded its footprint to 14 cities with 6,500 exclusive keys in 130 hotels in a short span of time.
“In Saudi Arabia, the market fundamentals are in place for a vibrant tourism industry, and we believe that the private sector will play a crucial role in unlocking this potential,” Eng. Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA, said, commenting on the development.
“At SAGIA, our role is to empower and enable domestic and international investors by identifying and developing new opportunities, fostering partnerships and shaping regulatory reforms,” he added.
OYO is one of the first Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Vision Fund backed companies to launch in Saudi Arabia.
OYO said its operations in the kingdom is currently run by a majority of young Saudi nationals, and the company plans to create jobs for over 5,000 Saudi citizens by 2020.
OYO will also set up two OYO Skill Institutes, one in Riyadh and the other in Jeddah, to train Saudi graduates in hotel management.
ⓘ Source: Arabian Business