RIYADH : Taj Hotels has signed its 250th property with that landmark unit going to open in Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah, near Riyadh. Taj parent Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has the highest number of hotels in India. It now has five hotels in the Middle East, including two under development.
IHCL MD & CEO Puneet Chhatwal said: “Announcing our 250th hotel is a moment of great pride as it marks IHCL’s consistent and rapid portfolio expansion, with 100 plus hotels signed over the past five years alone. The signing of this hotel is line with IHCL’s strategy of being present in key markets across the globe, which includes the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is a popular travel route, especially among the Indian diaspora…”
Riding high on a strong revival in travel, Taj is going to expand aggressively its footprint in the next 2-3 years. While the lion’s share of this growth will be domestic, India’s largest hospitality group is also looking at having a bigger footprint in countries that have a strong Indian diaspora and/or are big destinations for the desi travellers including North America, Europe and Middle East.
The Tata Group company currently runs hotels in the US, UK, Africa, UAE and India’s immediate neighbourhood.
IHCL plans to have 300 operational hotels by 2025 by opening over a property every month.
About the international expansion being looked at, Chhatwal had recently told TOI: “We are exploring strategic partnership opportunities in key global markets across the UK, US and Europe among others, which have substantial customer crossover with India.
The Middle East, with locations such as Makkah — where IHCL has a Taj hotel in the pipeline, — Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and AlUha, will continue be a strong focus area for us in the next couple of years for developing our brand.”
The 205-rooms and suites property is being developed in partnership with Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), whose group CEO Jerry Inzerillo said: “We are incredibly excited to welcome the iconic Taj hotels to Diriyah, The City of Earth, and the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with IHCL.
Diriyah is set to become Saudi Arabia’s foremost historical, cultural and lifestyle destination… Taj is known for its warmth and authentic experiences rooted in luxury, and we look forward to collaborating with IHCL to offer world class hospitality to travellers, while bringing alive Diriyah’s rich heritage and culture.”