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Frasers Hospitality targets expansion of Middle East presence to 13 properties

FRASERS Hospitality announced plans on Thursday to double its Middle East footprint to 13 properties over the next few years as it seeks to capitalise on the growing number of business tourists to the region.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expected to be the top three business travel markets in the Middle East, Frasers said in a press statement.

Bahrain has also seen a large influx of business tourists due to hosting large events like the World Islamic Banking Conference.

To boost its presence in the region, Frasers announced that in addition to opening Fraser Suites Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Fraser Suites Muscat in Oman, it is also planning to open three more properties in Dubai, one in Jeddah, one in the Saudi city of Al Khobar and another in Kuwait.

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"It is timely for us to scale up in the Middle East," said Choe Peng Sum, chief executive of Frasers Hospitality.

"We have a loyal base of corporate customers and this has contributed to the success of our properties in Bahrain, Doha and Dubai, which are enjoying average occupancies of over 85 per cent," said Mr Choe.

He highlighted Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 economic reforms as potentially driving more than 31 million tourist arrivals to the kingdom by 2027.

Capitalising on the potential boom in tourism is one of two newly-announced developments, the 95-room Fraser Suites Riyadh. Its accommodations range from studio apartments to two-bedroom penthouse suites and houses a massage facility, an Olympic-size rooftop swimming pool, a 24-hour gym, a library lounge and two dining outlets.

The second development, Fraser Suites Muscat, is also Frasers' initial foray into the sultanate of Oman.

To be opened in the second quarter of 2018, the 120-unit property is located close to the upcoming Mall of Oman, the diplomatic area and the Ghala industrial estate.

It offers residents choices ranging from one- to three-bedroom luxury apartments, a spa, fitness centre, rooftop pool and children's playground.

"Both Saudi Arabia and Oman have been highlighted as countries that are leading the region in developing cultural tourism, with a number of world-class attractions being built," said Mr Choe.

Frasers Hospitality entered the Middle East with Fraser Suites Seef, Bahrain in 2009, since expanding to include Fraser Suites Diplomatic Area Bahrain, Fraser Suites Doha, Fraser Suites West Bay, Doha and Fraser Suites Dubai.