Dubai-based developer Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has an estimated $700-800m of projects in the pipeline and is planning to open four new hotels by the end of the first quarter of 2011, said CEO, Sarmad Zok, at MEED’s Arabian Hotels and Investment Conference on 1 May.

After opening Four Seasons Hotel-Beirut in January this year, the developer is planning the following projects within the next nine months: 

  • Four Seasons, Marrakesh, Morocco
  • Raffles, Seychelles
  • Raffles, Manila, Philippines
  • Movenpick, Ghana

The properties reflect the developer’s plans for strategic growth in emerging markets. “Asia is the brightest spot for development over the next 10 to 15 years”, said Zok. “Africa is also a very exciting market that has been largely overlooked.”

KHI is the publicly-owned hotel development arm of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company, which owns 35 per cent of Canadian/Singapore hotelier Fairmont Raffles Holdings International as well as majority stakes in Canada’s Four Season Hotels & Resorts and the Swiss Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.

Kingdom Holding Company sold a 40 per cent share of Fairmont Raffles Holdings International to Doha-based Qatari Diar for an estimated $847m in April this year. Qatari Diar is wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority.

According to Zok, the partnership has proven extremely lucrative, particularly in light of KHI’s model for expansion. “We partnered with Qatari Diar in order to strengthen our shareholder base. That partnership allowed KHI to be aggressive in its plans for expansion,” said Zok.