Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), India’s largest hospitality company, today announced the signing of its milestone 250th hotel in Saudia Arabia. The Taj-branded hotel is in partnership with the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), who are responsible for the transformation of the historic city of Diriyah, The City of Earth, into a world-class mixed-use development. The hotel will be part of the Diriyah project, located in close proximity from downtown Riyadh, which envisions the location’s development as an international cultural and lifestyle destination inspired by the birth place of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Commenting on the signing, Mr. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL said, “Announcing our 250th hotel today is a moment of great pride as it marks IHCL’s consistent and rapid portfolio expansion, with 100+ 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, and we believe that our presence in historic Diriyah will tap into the immense tourism potential of the destination. We are delighted to partner with Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) and be part of the vision to develop Diriyah into a leading international cultural destination.” Featuring a combination of 205 rooms and suites, the Taj hotel will overlook the picturesque valley and palm groves of Wadi Hanifah, whilst being in close proximity to other key entertainment and cultural attractions. The luxury hotel will include an all-day dining restaurant, in addition to two speciality restaurants. Banqueting and conferencing facilities will make this hotel the perfect destination for business travellers, while a swimming pool, gym, wellness centre and spa will cater to both, leisure and bleisure travellers. Mr. Jerry Inzerillo, Group Chief Executive Officer, Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), 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 and is helping to realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by attracting visitors to Saudi this year with the opening of At-Turaif, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Kingdom’s most important cultural landmark, and Bujairi Terrace, the Kingdom’s newest and most anticipated culinary 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 travelers, while bringing alive Diriyah’s rich heritage and culture.” The 300-year-old site of Diriyah is located within Riyadh province, in close proximity to the north-west of downtown Riyadh. It is recognised as the symbolic centre of inspiration for the generations of leaders that have led the Kingdom since the foundation of the First Saudi State in 1727. With the addition of this hotel, IHCL has five hotels in the Middle East including two under development. About Diriyah As part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Diriyah will be transformed into the Kingdom’s foremost historical, cultural and lifestyle destination and one of the world’s foremost historic tourism destinations. Diriyah is located within Riyadh province, just 15 minutes north-west of downtown Riyadh. It is recognized as a symbolic centre of inspiration for the generations of leaders that have led the Kingdom since the foundation of the First Saudi State in 1727. As the renewed cultural and historic capital of the nation, Diriyah is being designed and built with Saudi traditions and heritage in mind. The mixeduse traditional urban community will be created using the authentic Najdi architectural style, typical of Saudi villages of centuries past. Sitting at the cultural heart of Diriyah lies the historic city of At-Turaif. Built in 1766, At-Turaif is recognized as one of the world’s foremost mud-brick cities. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, it is today set to become one of the nation’s must-see historic destinations. With cultural and lifestyle experiences at its heart, Diriyah will be enriched by entertainment, learning, shopping, dining, hospitality, residential and workplace offerings. On completion, it will be home to a population of 100,000 residents, workers, students, and visitors and will celebrate the rich cultural history of Saudi Arabia. The development will feature an array of world-class cultural, entertainment, retail, hospitality, educational, office and residential areas, including 38 hotels, a diverse collection of museums, a bustling retail heart and over 150 places to dine. The existing Bujairi Terrace area will soon be home to Riyadh’s new premium dining hub, enjoying uninterrupted views of At-Turaif; and the 141- key Samhan Heritage Hotel. Wadi Hanifah, a two square kilometre space accessible from the escarpment walk, will provide passive and active recreational spaces and boutique hospitality venues; places to unwind and spend the afternoon with family and friends in the beautiful wadi surroundings.