Playa Hotels & Resorts’ all-inclusive concept is heading to Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom’s Tourism Development Fund (TDF) has signed a framework agreement with Playa to introduce the company’s luxury all-inclusive offering to the Saudi Arabian coasts, including the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.
The deal will represent Playa’s first launch outside of the Americas.
Playa is well known for its lavish and trendy properties in Mexico and the Caribbean. The company has also found great success in establishing partnerships with global brands such as Hyatt, Hilton and Wyndham.
Local media reports say the agreement was signed on Monday (March 14) at a ceremony attended by TDF chief executive officer Qusai Al-Fakhri and Playa Hotels & Resorts chairman Bruce D Wardinski.
“Through this partnership with Playa Hotels Resorts, we demonstrate our commitment to providing the kingdom with the latest in world-class hospitality offerings. This agreement is the most recent in a series of efforts to enable the private sector to develop high-potential tourism destinations in line with the National Tourism Strategy,” Al-Fakhri said in a statement.
Wardinski said Playa was pleased to bring a “unique concept to the kingdom.”
The TDF deal, which includes plans to open more than one resort, aims to introduce Playa as a new and innovative concept in the local market for the purpose of enhancing tourism and creating jobs.
The fund is also exploring financing opportunities to support private sector investments, including foreign direct investments represented by Playa's share as a contributor to projects, as Saudi Arabia diversifies its tourism offering.
An "important step"
In a statement to PAX, Dean Sullivan, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at Playa Hotels & Resorts, said with the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between Playa and the TDF, "We have taken an important step toward expanding our all-inclusive resort expertise into a region that is quickly becoming a global tourism destination."
"As the centrepiece of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy, the TDF has established partnerships with some of the most iconic names in hospitality, lifestyle and entertainment while bringing a transformative vision to reality throughout the region," Sullivan said.
The MOU also marks the "end of our initial due diligence and the start of a real commitment" by both parties to bring Playa's brand of "all-inclusive quality, expertise and superior service to life" through several possible scenarios that include investment, development and management opportunities, Sullivan said.