As part of the US$50.6 billion (190 billion SAR) transformation of the historic city of Diriyah, located 15-minutes north-west of Riyadh city centre, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), announced the first 14 of its planned 38 hotel brands that will come to call Diriyah home over the coming years.
DGDA has received overwhelming interest from the world’s most revered luxury five-star brands to have a presence within the development’s carefully curated collection of 38 hospitality brands. Currently the concept design is nearing completion for the first 14 brands and DGDA looks forward to unveiling additional hotel operators as their designs advance further.
The development – which remains on time, on budget and on track – will be the first giga project in the world to simultaneously open, ground-break and announce world class assets every year from 2022 until completion in 2026. It will also be the first of Saudi Arabia’s giga projects to open assets, with its first 18 restaurant brands launching in Bujairi Terrace in early 2022.
The hotel brands are strategically located across two of DGDA’s four masterplans – Diriyah Gate and Wadi Safar. Hotel brands coming to Diriyah Gate phase one, a five square kilometre mixed-use heritage, tourism and lifestyle destination, set to become the world’s largest cultural and heritage city – in alphabetical order – include Address Hotels & Resorts, part of the Emaar Hospitality Group, which stays true to its tagline ‘Where Life Happens’ offering guests opportunities to celebrate life and its most cherished moments; whilst Baccarat Hotels & Resorts will offer guests an artistic atmosphere catering to opulent social moments.
Located in the Bujairi district will be a Campbell Gray Hotels and Resorts property, combining sustainability and Najdi design with modern glamour to Diriyah Gate; the development will also offer a 100-key Capella Hotels and Resorts which will embody excellence in the craft of hospitality and curate unique experiences for guests to truly immerse in the local community; Fauchon, the purveyor of French contemporary gastronomy since 1886, will launch its first Fauchon Hotel in the Middle-East, showcasing the perfect Parisian “art de vivre” experience; and an 80-key retreat from LXR Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s exclusive collection of legendary, independent properties, representing the brand’s debut in Saudi Arabia.
In addition, Orient Express will make its debut into the Middle East, bringing the refined nomadic spirit and state-of-art detailing that characterise the artisan of travel; while Raffles will reinterpret artistic and cultural tradition through an inspiring contemporary lens, with breath-taking views of Wadi Hanifah from its rooftop; there will be a luxury Park Hyatt property boasting meaningful interiors by world renowned designers; or guests can relax in the surrounds of The Ritz-Carlton which will fuse the past and present through elegant design and intuitive service. Finally, international grand and gracious Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will add a new urban sanctuary to its collection of global properties and The Luxury Collection will also be arriving in Diriyah, offering a unique and cherished expression of its location.
To the west of Diriyah sits Wadi Safar – a place of outstanding cultural history; and a destination steeped in heritage and rich cultural tradition nestled within 60 square kilometers of unspoilt natural landscape. Much as this special location was once the gathering place for traders and travellers from Asia, Africa and Europe, Wadi Safar is being developed to become today’s modern embodiment: a cultural hub where the world’s finest experiences and visionary minds will combine. This unique and ever-evolving story is being shaped by a chorus of exceptional brands and voices. These include the world class Oberoi brand who will bring their unremitting dedication to warm hospitality and perfection in a serene setting; and the purposeful sustainability and wellness commitment of Six Senses, inviting guests to reconnect to the region through crafted experiences. These hotel partners and more will come together to create a new global landmark and construct a new legacy for the Kingdom.
The hotel openings will commence in a strategically articulated manner with the first property which will be a part of The Luxury Collection, operated by Marriott International, due to open in 2022 with 141 keys.
Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of DGDA, said: “This prestigious hotel collection will set the stage for a new level of global hospitality. These hotels and resorts will not only complement the Kingdom’s rich culture and heritage but also its ambitious future plans in line with His Royal Highness The Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030. We are honoured to have attracted such iconic brands to the destination, and look forward to unveiling the hotels’ next-level offerings for Saudi Arabia’s visitors and locals over the forthcoming months. This news marks a very special time for the development, and it is a superb example of Vision 2030 being implemented.”
Jonathan Timms, President of Diriyah Development Company, added: “The announcement of our forthcoming hotel collection is a major milestone in our development’s progress. Each hotel partner has been carefully selected and curated to ensure our guests receive the highest standard of hospitality, whilst enticing them to explore Diriyah and the Kingdom through much-loved brands. The team has worked tirelessly to bring onboard these respected operators, who share our vision and desire to develop with deep authenticity and integrity. We look forward to announcing further hotel partners in the coming months.”
As the historic and cultural heart of Saudi Arabia, Diriyah will soon proudly showcase to the world Saudi Arabia’s 300 plus years of history through an engaging and inspiring set of heritage, cultural, hospitality, education, retail and dining experiences for residents and tourists. The new global landmark, which is located in the thriving & historically rich north-western district of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, will be created in a traditional Najdi architectural style and will showcase authentic Saudi environments of the past.
The destination will soon offer a diverse collection of museums and cultural attractions, an ultra-luxury retail offering, and a line-up of revered international and local dining brands within the recently revealed Bujairi Terrace district. At the heart of Diriyah is the ‘Jewel of the Kingdom,’ UNESCO World Heritage Site At-Turaif, which is regarded as one of the most important historical and political sites in Saudi Arabia, being the original home of the Saudi Arabian royal family and the country’s first Saudi State.