Saudi-based Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has entered into a tripartite agreement with Ennismore, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing lifestyle hospitality companies, and Al Rajhi Capital, a leading asset manager in the Kingdom, to launch a hospitality investment fund with a capital of SR1.5 billion (USD 400 million) that will focus on the advancement of lifestyle hotels.
Ennismore is a joint venture between the founder and CEO, Sharan Pasricha, and Accor. It is an autonomous business and team, based out of London with 14 brands,100 operating hotels worldwide, and 200 more in the pipeline.
Ennismore is a proud owner of several brands, which include 21c Museum Hotel, 25hours, Delano, Hyde, Gleneagles, Mama Shelter, Mondrian, JO&JOE, Morgans Originals, The Hoxton, SLS, SO/, Tribe and Working From.
The recent move is intended to enhance promising best-in-industry opportunities towards various tourist destinations within the Kingdom. This partnership agreement complements the preliminary endeavour in October the previous year, when TDF and Ennismore signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to launch an investment fund focused on evolving lifestyle hotels in the Kingdom at the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII).
The latest agreement would enable the companies to identify locations and provide financing options for projects throughout the Kingdom.
TDF stated that the company will invest in the newly founded investment fund, while Ennismore will take the lead on developing and operating these projects under the supervision of its lifestyle brands. Al Rajhi Capital will manage the investment fund and encourage investments from investors, it added.
Establishing Saudi’s position as a worldwide tourist destination
The recent pact was signed by TDF Chief Executive Officer Qusai Al Fakhri, Ennismore Co-CEO Gaurav Bhushan, and Al Rajhi Capital CEO Waleed Al Rashed Al Humaid at a ceremonial event held in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
This partnership illustrates their commitment and dedication to their preliminary MoUs and symbolises a significant milestone towards fulfilling the targets of the National Tourism Strategy to establish Saudi Arabia’s position as a worldwide tourist destination by leveraging the promising opportunities the Saudi tourism sector offers, Al Fakhri noted.
Enlisting forces with both Ennismore and Al Rajhi Capital is however another positive step towards achieving their ambitions to expand the tourism sector, he said. TDF further seeks to continually offer varied and innovative preferences to support private sector investment in the hospitality sector, with a view to enrich visitor experiences while attaining sustainable tourism and economic development, he added.
Bhushan said that the partnership with TDF and Al Rajhi is a significant part of the company’s growth strategy for the region. He further added that Ennismore was pleased to further strengthen its commitment to the developing Saudi hospitality segment through employing, training, and enhancing national competencies, as well as offering tourism services that would build closer connections with international and regional tourists.
He stated that they are pleased to collaborate with TDF and contribute to the promotion of the tourism division in the kingdom.
Commenting for Al Rajhi, Al Humaid said that this agreement revealed the importance of partnership between the private and public sector and opens rewarding investment opportunities where capital can be invested in national programmes pitched towards the tourism industry.
He further added that the industry has shifted to the development of modern and sustainable tourist destinations, capitalizing on the astonishing potential and wealth of their tourism, national heritage, and landmarks. These help to attract more local and global investments and drives the industry closer to reaching national economic objectives.
This also reflects on Al Rajhi Capital’s steadfast commitment to providing the most effective frontline financing and investment solutions, Al Humaid stated.