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Global Hospitality Talk – Riyadh 2024

The Sundukovy Sister (S+S ) team attended the first  Global Hospitality Talk (GHT) event in Saudi Arabia. The event, held at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, was a great success. From the well-organized arrangements to the exceptional venue, it provided an enriching experience for all attendees, organized by Can Faik anLorraine Jack.

The GHT Riyadh event was a melting pot of industry insights, featuring a series of engaging panel discussions that covered a wide range of topics relevant to the future of hospitality and urban development in the Kingdom.

Vision 2030: Transforming Fantastical Concepts into Functional Realities

A key topic of discussion was Vision 2030, with leading hotel companies exploring the challenges of turning visionary properties into functional spaces. The pipeline of hotels planned by major operators is nothing short of impressive. According to Pinar Calimano (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts) , six hotels are opening in the Kingdom. Maliha Nishat (Marriott International) mentioned that 40 Marriott properties are planned, and Michael Busse (Accor) stated that 49 Accor properties are being developed. Hakan Ozkasikci of Kerzner International highlighted the role of prefabrication in hotel design as a significant factor in meeting these ambitious targets.

“The World is Watching”: Rapid Growth in the Hospitality Sector

The “The World is Watching” session highlighted the rapid development of the hospitality and tourism sector in Saudi Arabia. Ahmed Hozaien (Marriot International) noted a remarkable 35% growth since 2021Michael Busse (Accor) said that the majority of the Saudi population is under 30 years old, which shows that there is a growing demand for lifestyle hotels designed for younger guests.

Designing Unique: Saudi Arabia vs. UAE

Another captivating discussion featured Simon Thompson (Red Sea Global) and Tarek Hegazy (Living Designs). They delved into the opportunities for Saudi Arabia to lead the world in hotel design, pondering whether the KSA could surpass the UAE in hospitality excellence. The dialogue highlighted the innovative potential and competitive spirit driving the region’s design ambitions.

Recognition of Excellence: Jerry Inzerillo’s Outstanding Contribution Award

The event concluded with a well-deserved recognition of Jerry Inzerillo – Group Chief Executive Officer, Diriyah, who received the Outstanding Contribution Award. Inzerillo, a name synonymous with visionary leadership in hospitality, has been instrumental in transforming Diriyah into a global heritage and cultural destination. His life story and motivational speech resonated deeply with the audience, underscoring his relentless pursuit of excellence and significant achievements in the industry.

A Bright Future for Hospitality in Saudi Arabia

Attending the first GHT event in Saudi Arabia was an inspiring experience. The discussions and insights gained underscored the immense potential and dynamic growth of the hospitality sector in the Kingdom. With Vision 2030 as a guiding beacon, Saudi Arabia is poised to set new benchmarks in hotel design, urban development, and tourism, promising an exciting future for the global hospitality industry.

We extend our thanks to the organizers, Can Faik and Lorraine Jack, and leading sponsors—Franklite, GESSI, ICE International, ARTERIORS Homes —for organizing and inviting Sundukovy Sisters (S+S) Studio to the GHT in Riyadh. We look forward to exploring new prospects in Saudi Arabia’s most exciting region.

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