Hyatt is to hire 2500 new staff in Saudi Arabia in the next four years for six hotels under development.
The company, which currently has only one property in the country, in Jeddah, unveiled plans in March to open three more – all in Mecca – by the end of 2014. Now it has announced three more properties under development – one in Riyadh and two in Jeddah, bringing the total planned number of rooms to almost 2000.
Thierry Bertin, vice president of worldwide sales for south west Asia, told Hotelier Middle East: “We’ve already started to train some people in our existing hotel, so we’re definitively pro-active in terms of acquisition. We have some good success stories already, so we just have to get the right people for the management positions.
“In the Saudi traditions, people don’t really want to work in the hotel business and it will take some time for people to see hotels as a fulltime industry, but this has started already,” he added.
Peter Fulton, managing director for Hyatt International, South West Asia, said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important market for Hyatt, having just increased our worldwide sales team to include on the ground support in the country. Expanding the number of Hyatt-branded hotels in the Kingdom will be a significant step towards our goal of being the preferred brand for global travellers.”
Bertin concluded that “expectations are high” after the successful opening of the Park Hyatt Jeddah in 2009. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very dynamic today with a lot of projects under construction and it looks very promising for the future.”