By Rafiq Vayani
DUBAI/RIYADH: Global hospitality leader Hilton (NYSE: HLT), announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) towards exploring cooperation opportunities between the two entities and developing creative content, with the aim of attracting visitors from key markets across the Middle East and Africa to the Kingdom.
Signing this MoU comes as part of the STA’s ongoing commitment and efforts to forge strong partnerships with key players in Saudi Arabia’s tourism ecosystem, working closely with these partners to promote destinations in the Kingdom and provide inspiring tourism experiences. This most recent partnership also highlights Hilton’s presence and growth in Saudi Arabia, where it currently operates 16 hotels – with another 51 in the pipeline and plans to grow its portfolio to more 75 hotels in the coming years.
The MoU was signed at Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Arabian Travel Market 2023 by Kamel Ajami, Vice President, Operations, KSA, Egypt & Levant, Hilton, and Munirah Abanomy, Director General of Marketing Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa, STA.
“We are very excited to sign this agreement, which comes in alignment with Hilton’s longstanding relationship with the Saudi Tourism Authority over the years and is a reiteration of our commitment towards the tourism sector in the Kingdom,” Ajami said. “Through this partnership, we aim to attract travellers from the Middle East and Africa who are looking to explore the Kingdom’s diverse tourism offerings while staying with a global hospitality brand they know and trust.”
“This Memorandum of Understanding with global hospitality leader, Hilton, aligns with our strategy to partner with key international brands and corporations that are working in alignment with our vision, attracting new segments of regional tourists and helping us achieve our 2030 objectives,” said Abdulkarim Al-Darwish, CEO of the Middle East and African Markets, STA.
Hilton’s portfolio in the Kingdom includes iconic properties such as the Waldorf Astoria Jeddah – Qasr al Sharq, Conrad Makkah, Jeddah Hilton and Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, with new brands making their country debut in the coming years including LXR Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, and Hampton by Hilton.