Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a luxury operator with more than 70 hotels globally, announced at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), the signing of two new luxury hotel developments in Morocco and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The two new projects include Fairmont Taghazout Bay, Morocco and Fairmont Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which are both scheduled to open before 2020.
The development of these properties will see Fairmont’s luxury hotel portfolio in the Middle East, Africa and India (MEAI) region increase to 20 hotels by 2020, more than doubling the regional pipeline and boosting the brand’s presence within two major economic and tourist hubs.
“The market for luxury accommodations in Morocco and Saudi Arabia is growing at a rapid pace with an excellent outlook for investment performance,” said Sami Nasser, senior vice president of operations for FRHI in the Middle East, Africa and India (MEAI). “We are happy to increase our presence and our commitment to these dynamic regions and look forward to successfully launching these new hotels while continuing to explore future development opportunities throughout the region and globally.”
Scheduled to open in 2019, the project is situated in Taghazout Bay, a 615 hectare seaside resort located 18 km north of Agadir on the Atlantic coast. The hotel sits on 180,000 square meters (1.9M square feet), of beachfront adjacent to the 18-hole golf course designed by Kyle Phillips which was recently completed in 2014.
Fairmont Taghazout Bay will feature 155 spacious guestrooms, with sea facing views, in addition to 52 Fairmont branded villas, to be released for sale later this year, which will be the first luxury waterfront villas of this kind in the country.
The resort will boast over 2,500 square meters (27,000 square feet) of meeting space and a Fairmont spa with fitness facilities. A range of culinary offerings will include an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge, specialty restaurant and beach pool bar and grill. Fairmont Taghazout Bay will set a new benchmark for luxury leisure travel in the country while complementing the more urban Fairmont La Marina Rabat-Salé currently under development in the Valley of Bouregreg, a coastal mixed-use development bordering the Moroccan capital Rabat.
With its warm climate, pristine beaches, diverse landscape and recreational activities, including five golf courses, Taghazout Bay is quickly becoming a popular destination for leisure travelers. The resort is a short distance away from the international airport of Agadir as well as the main highway network linking the city to neighboring tourist spots, Marrakech (250 km) and Casablanca (450 km).
Currently in development and set to open in 2020, Fairmont Al Khobar will be situated in Al Khobar on the coast of the Arabian Gulf. This area, together with the neighboring cities of Dammam and Dhahran, form the Dammam Metropolitan Area, the capital of the Eastern Province.
In addition to the 240 guestrooms and 12 serviced residences, the property will feature over 4,000 square meters (approximately 43,000 square feet) of meeting and conference space including the largest ballroom in the province. A variety of food and beverage offerings including a vibrant lobby lounge, specialty restaurant and gourmet pastry café plus a range of wellness and fitness facilities, including a spa, will be available.
The hotel will be situated in a high-end commercial area of the city between the Al Khobar Corniche and the Central Business District (CBD), surrounded by parks, restaurants and shopping centers, making it a highly enviable location for leisure and business travelers. The King Fahd Causeway, the city’s major transport route directly connected to neighboring Bahrain, is 10 minutes away from the development while King Fahd International Airport is just a short distance away.
This announcement marks parent company FRHI Hotels & Resorts’ second venture into the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in the eastern part of the country, having previously announced the development of the 180-room Swissôtel Al Khobar, set to open in 2019.
The addition of these two properties complements a growing portfolio of Fairmont hotels currently under development in the region, including four openings in 2016/2017 – Fairmont Fujairah, Fairmont Amman, Fairmont Riyadh, Business Gate and Fairmont City Stars Sharm El Sheikh.