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PIF unit picks Hilton to operate Saudi heritage site resorts

RIYADH, March 3, 2024

Dan Company, a subsidiary of Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF which specialises in the fields of agri-, eco- and adventure tourism, has signed an agreement with global hospitality major Hilton to operate three of its key resorts located in the Al Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province and Unesco World Heritage site, which is home to Al-Ahsa Oasis - the largest date palm oasis in the world. 
 
With lush surroundings and homegrown farms at its doorstep, the 1.8 million sq m master development aims to create a premium farm-based tourism destination in the heart of Al Ahsa, thus attracting visitors looking to connect with nature and enjoy a diverse range of experiences in the significant agricultural region.
 
The agreement for the resorts - Al Ahsa Agritourism Resort, LXR Hotels & Resorts; Al Ahsa Eco Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton; and Al Ahsa Adventure Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton - was sealed by the visiting global Hilton leaders with Dan Company during their recent visit to the kingdom. 
 
Dan Company CEO Abdulrahman Abaalkhail said: "The partnership with Hilton to operate the first three resorts in Al Ahsa will see us combine Hilton’s world-class hospitality with the picturesque landscapes of Al Ahsa. This part of Saudi Arabia offers unique experiences rich in cultural and natural beauty yet underrepresented in the current tourism landscape."
 
"This delivers on our strategy to establish a Saudi homegrown hospitality brand with a pioneering heritage-inspired fusion of agricultural, eco, and adventure experience resorts, nestled in nature, setting a remarkable precedent in Saudi Arabia's hospitality industry. Our business model is synonymous with cultural authenticity, sustainability, and community empowerment, thereby creating an ecosystem and contributing to the kingdom's broader economic and tourism objectives," stated Abaalkhail.
 
The resorts will be easily accessible via main roads, with Riyadh, Dammam, Khobar, Jubail, Bahrain, and Qatar within a one-and-a-half to three-and-a-half-hour drive away.
 
Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta pointed out that the signing of these three hotels further expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia, where the group plans to quadruple its portfolio. 
 
"Al-Ahsa is one of the key regions identified under the National Tourism Strategy of Saudi Arabia, and we are pleased to bring Hilton’s renowned hospitality brands to this unique new tourism development in the country," he noted.
 
"Each resort will have a distinct offering, from luxury at the LXR Hotels & Resorts Agritourism Resort, wellness and wellbeing at the Curio Collection by Hilton Eco Resort, and outdoor adventure at the Curio Collection by Hilton Adventure Resort. A central activation area will also be available to guests and the public, which will include a nature garden, an amphitheater, dining and retail options, a farmers’ market, and other multi-purpose spaces for local agricultural vendors and retailers to exhibit, he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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