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Saudi Arabia Unveils Boutique Group, the Kingdom's New Hospitality Brand

Saudi Arabia has unveiled a new hospitality brand set to transform some of the Kingdom's historical and cultural palaces into luxurious hotels. The brand "Boutique Group" was unveiled by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The recent announcement falls in line with the PIF's strategy to implement $480 billion worth of sovereign wealth fund on profitable sectors.

"The Crown Prince's launch of the Boutique Group underlines PIF's mandate to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors in Saudi Arabia that can help drive the diversification of the economy and contribute to non-oil GDP growth," Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF, said in a statement.

Here is what to expect from Boutique Group in the coming years. Presently, the brand is transforming three historical palaces as part of its first phase. These are Al Hamra Palace in Jeddah, Tuwaiq Palace in Riyadh, and Red Palace. When completed, these new hotels will offer 244 rooms, suites, and villas to guests in addition to restaurants and spas. In terms of design, each hotel is expected to have a mixture of both classical and contemporary designs.

In fact, the unveiling of Boutique Group comes as Saudi Arabia has been investing in its hospitality and tourism sectors. In a bid to diversify the economy from oil exports, following the Vision 2030 plan, the Kingdom has been developing several of its tourism destinations such as AlUla, Asir, the Red Sea, Ad Diriyah, and others.

Of course, this also includes new accommodations for tourists with the hospitality sector set to introduce 100,000 rooms by 2030. This is seen as part of PIF's $1 trillion real estate and infrastructure plan. In 2021, for instance, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) had signed nine agreements with international firms. By 2030, the Red Sea project is looking to launch 50 hotels with over 8,000 rooms in total, including 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

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