The AlUla Development Company (UDC) and Seera Group Holding have agreed to form a joint venture company (JVC) to develop and operate a 215 keys CHOICE™ branded Clarion Hotel in the central business district of AlUla, a city of the Madinah region, in north-western Saudi Arabia.
The project cost is estimated at SAR 170 million and will be developed on a land of 9,000 square meters, leased from UDC. This development constitutes an important milestone in the context of UDC’s strategy to develop future hospitality projects in AlUla.
The project will primarily aim at improving the business-related accommodation offering in AlUla as it will witness an increasing demand for business and technical support personnel over the coming years.
Feras Sheraiff, CEO of AlUla Development Company said: "The signing of this agreement highlights AlUla Development Company’s commitment and ambition to further develop AlUla as a tourism destination with immense potential. This is the first Joint Venture established by UDC and will pave the way for future cooperation between UDC and private sector companies for the tourism growth of AlUla."
The Equinox Development Management, which falls under the umbrella of the Seera Group, will be responsible for the development of the hotel. At the same time, Seera Hospitality’s CHME vertical will be responsible for branding and operations.
Majed Alnefaie, CEO of Seera Group, said: "AlUla is fast-emerging as one of the most sought-after destinations in the Kingdom, underlined by its natural attractions, rich archeological and historic legacy, and the number of high-profile events being held. This has driven demand for hotel rooms not only for international and domestic tourists but also for a number of professionals who visit AlUla to provide their services for the ongoing activities. Through this JV, we aim to build yet another modern hospitality project under the Clarion brand that will support the city and serve its visitors."
AlUla, one of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula and home to Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has garnered ever-increasing traveller interest from abroad and domestically. The destination features picturesque natural landscapes, alongside cultural, historical and entertainment experiences, offering a wide range of growth opportunities for the hospitality and wider tourism sector. The Joint Venture aims to capitalize on the growing popularity of AlUla by providing primarily business travellers with a quality accommodation option by Clarion.
Lazard served as financial advisor to UDC. The Law Office of Megren M. Al-Shaalan in cooperation with White & Case acted as legal advisor to UDC and Backer McKenzie acted as legal advisor to Seera Group Holding.