More than USD 1 trillion worth of real estate and infrastructure projects, including 315,000 hotel keys, are under development or in the pipeline in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, underpinning the ambition set out in the country’s Vision 2030 strategy, according to industry experts speaking ahead of the upcoming Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) Saudi Arabia, among whom is Hala Matar Choufany. The summit took place at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, 7-9 May 2023.
Hala Matar Choufany said: “The surge in tourism and arrivals into KSA over the last 18 months alone – largely the result of legislation changes and visa facilitation – is a testament to the country’s growing allure. Interestingly, this uptick is not confined to established destinations and sectors such as commercial and religious tourism. ‘Bleisure’ and leisure tourism are equally on the rise, with secondary cities welcoming new visitors from far and wide. As the country continues to diversify its offering, the outlook looks positive, and, while it is early days in terms of planning and future investment, the hospitality market and investment opportunities are significant.”
She also added: “Considering the size and scale of developments as well as the nature of ownership, it is evident that the Saudi market will benefit from multiple arrangements, such as franchises, as it relates to some of the established hotel owners, growth in local management companies, and rise and growth of homegrown brands. We also foresee an increase in lease agreements as the markets become more mature and stable. While the traditional hotel operating model remains relevant, terms have become more competitive, and operators’ ability to drive value is key to negotiations."
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About Hala Matar Choufany
Hala is an experienced Regional President and Managing Partner, an industry expert, and is recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the hospitality industry, notably in the Middle East and Africa region.
Hala has advised on more than 5,000 hospitality and mixed-use projects in the last 20 years across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She has advised clients in areas such as Valuations, Acquisitions, Asset Management, Strategic investments and development, Contract Negotiations, and general Real Estate Strategic Advisory.
Hala has authored more than 50 publications and speaks frequently at investment and hospitality related conferences on a range of topics including asset valuation, investments, management issues and women leadership.
In addition to being a Board Member of HVS Global, Hala sits on the Boards of Harvard Business School Club of the GCC, Hotel Investment Advisory Board, and is regularly invited to Boards as a subject matter expert in the industry. Hala is frequently invited to discuss hotel and tourism trends on major news channel including Alarabiya, Bloomberg, Abu Dhabi TV, Forbes, Breaking Travel News and CNN.
Hala is also a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC).
Hala completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School. She also holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from IMHI (Essec- Cornell) University, Paris, France and a BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Hala is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Born in Beirut, Hala lived and worked in several cities across Europe, Asia and Middle East and is a mother of three.
For more information, contact Hala at [email protected].