Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Development Fund (TDF) entered into a deal with UK-based hospitality company Ennismore to establish a $400 million fund that will help bring Ennismore’s lifestyle brands to 12 destinations in the kingdom, reports say.
Per the deal, TDF will identify locations and provide financing options for projects throughout the kingdom, while Ennismore will lead on programming, design and operations of the destinations under its lifestyle brands.
Under the agreement, TDF and Ennismore will also employ, train and develop Saudi talent, creating up to 3,000 new jobs.
The agreement was signed on the sideline of the fifth Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh. The kingdom has made tourism sector one of its key pillars to move its economy away from oil sector as part of a vision to become one of the world’s leading economies by 2030.
The Gulf Kingdom has launched several tourism projects including iconic Neom – a $500bn futuristic city comprising a nature reserve, coral reefs and heritage sites on islands along the Red Sea – and a mega-entertainment and sports project, named Qiddiya, in the capital.
TDF, launched last year and endowed with an initial investment of $4bn, is tasked to provide investors and partners for the vision.
Created in 2021, Ennismore is a joint venture between Sharan Pasricha, founder and co-chief executive, and hospitality group Accor, and includes 87 operating properties globally, with an additional 141 hotels in the pipeline.
The Ennismore brands include 21c Museum Hotel, 25hours, Delano, Gleneagles, Hyde and The Hoxton, among others.