Expanding AlUla International Airport: A Gateway to Ancient Heritage and Modern Convenience

Expanding AlUla International Airport: A Gateway to Ancient Heritage and Modern Convenience

By Author

Published on October 30, 2023

Recently, the Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate unveiled the designs for the second terminal of AlUla International Airport during the Future Investment Initiative (FII7). These designs are a beautiful fusion of modern functionality and reverence for AlUla's rich historical and cultural heritage.

Selected after a global competition involving renowned design firms, these plans signify a significant step forward in the airport's expansion efforts. The Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate's vision is clear: to elevate AlUla as a global logistics hub, enhancing its air connectivity with both international and local destinations.

With these designs, AlUla International Airport's annual passenger capacity is set to soar from its current 400,000 to an impressive six million. Furthermore, the airport's total area is expanding to approximately 2.4 million square meters, with the capability to handle up to 15 aircraft simultaneously.

What's truly exciting about this expansion is that it's not just about increasing the airport's capacity but also enhancing the overall visitor experience. The new designs incorporate modern amenities such as a hotel, spa, and various services and facilities. These additions seamlessly integrate with AlUla's remarkable status as the world's largest open-air museum, providing travelers with a unique blend of heritage and modern convenience.

It's worth noting that this development aligns with the region's anticipated growth as a global destination. AlUla's forward-looking perspective, in harmony with the goals of Vision 2030, aims to preserve and showcase the governorate's rich civilizational, cultural, and environmental aspects.

Over the years, AlUla International Airport has undertaken several projects to improve passenger services and cater to the local community and visitors. These efforts are part of a broader initiative to bring the beauty and heritage of AlUla to the world.

As we await the opening of this exciting new terminal, AlUla's travel infrastructure continues to evolve. In addition to the airport expansion, a new electric train system is on the horizon, set to connect major destinations across the area by 2027.


Hilton Unveils Ambitious Plan to Double Lifestyle Hotel Presence by 2028

Hilton Unveils Ambitious Plan to Double Lifestyle Hotel Presence by 2028

By Nishang Narayan

Published on June 5, 2024

Hilton, a global leader in hospitality, has set forth an ambitious plan to significantly expand its footprint in the lifestyle hotel segment, aiming to double its presence by adding 350 properties within the next four years. This strategic move comes in response to the company's recent acquisitions and the growing demand for lifestyle accommodations.

Hilton's expansion strategy is fueled by recent acquisitions and partnerships that have positioned the company for substantial growth in the lifestyle hotel category. Earlier this year, Hilton acquired a controlling interest in the Sydell Group, a move aimed at expanding the globally renowned NoMad luxury lifestyle brand. Additionally, the company sealed a $210 million agreement with AJ Capital to acquire the Graduate Hotels brand, which boasts over 35 properties worldwide.

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In line with its aggressive growth strategy, Hilton aims to open more than 100 new lifestyle hotels this year alone, marking the debut of its 400th property in this category. This follows the addition of over 50 new lifestyle hotels last year and the approval of another 100 properties.

Key Brands Driving Growth

Hilton's portfolio of lifestyle brands, including Canopy by Hilton, Graduate by Hilton, Motto by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, and Tempo by Hilton, are poised for significant expansion in the coming years.

  • Canopy by Hilton: The brand has launched its first resort property in Seychelles and has signed six new hotels in the first quarter of the year, expanding into Greece, Malta, and soon Japan.

  • Curio Collection by Hilton: With a presence in 40 countries by mid-2024, the brand plans to open nearly 30 new properties this year, including the Keight Hotel Opatija in Croatia.

  • Motto by Hilton: Set to reach ten countries by 2026, the brand has upcoming openings in Hong Kong and Bentonville, Arkansas.

  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton: Expanding into markets such as Thailand, Paraguay, and Türkiye, with the first Hilton in Bermuda set to open later this year as Bermudiana Beach Resort.

  • Tempo by Hilton: Expected to have around 30 hotels open by 2026, with new openings in Times Square, New York City, and Nashville.

To spearhead the growth and development of its lifestyle brands, Hilton has appointed Kevin Osterhaus as the president of global lifestyle brands. Osterhaus will oversee the expansion, design, and development of brands within the lifestyle segment.

Kevin Jacobs, Hilton's chief financial officer and global development president, expressed excitement about the company's growth prospects in the lifestyle segment. He emphasised Hilton's commitment to meeting the evolving needs of developers and guests worldwide, ensuring that the brand remains at the forefront of the hospitality industry.

With its strategic acquisitions, robust expansion plans, and strong brand portfolio, Hilton is poised to redefine the lifestyle hotel experience and capture new markets around the globe.

For more information about Hilton and its lifestyle brands, visit Hilton's official website.


Jetwing Hotels Boosts Solar Power Investment for Greener Operations

Jetwing Hotels Boosts Solar Power Investment for Greener Operations

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on May 16, 2024

Jetwing Hotels, a cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s hospitality sector for over five decades, is spearheading a green revolution in the industry with its latest investment in renewable energy. With a commitment exceeding USD 1 million, Jetwing is set to expand its solar photovoltaic (PV) installations by 1.6 megawatts (MW) by July 2024, marking a significant leap towards a more sustainable future.

Jetwing’s journey towards sustainability began over a decade ago, with the installation of a 20-kilowatt (kW) solar PV system at Jetwing Blue in Negombo. Since then, the brand has strategically implemented solar PV systems totaling 925kW across its properties, alongside a 40kW system at its corporate office in Colombo. In 2023, Jetwing Hotels generated over 1,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of solar energy, equivalent to powering more than 13,000 households and mitigating 608 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The forthcoming expansion represents a significant milestone for Jetwing Hotels, aiming to triple its current solar power contribution and cover 24% of its total electricity usage. Embracing innovation, certain properties will integrate PV systems into car park roof structures, maximizing space utilization and energy efficiency. Moreover, surplus energy will be exported to the national grid, further reducing reliance on non-renewable sources.

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Jetwing Safari Camp, situated near Yala National Park, will lead by example with a 120kW roof-mount solar PV system, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. This initiative underscores Jetwing Hotels’ proactive approach to environmental stewardship, aligning with Sri Lanka’s ambitious goals of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Recognition from the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka highlights Jetwing Hotels’ commitment to sustainability, reinforcing its position as a trailblazer in sustainable tourism. With a legacy spanning over half a century, Jetwing Hotels continues to redefine luxury hospitality while championing responsible tourism practices. Through ongoing initiatives focused on community empowerment, environmental conservation, and resource efficiency, Jetwing Hotels remains dedicated to shaping a vibrant and sustainable future for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.


Atmosphere Core Introduces Raaya to Expand Maldives Portfolio

Atmosphere Core Introduces Raaya to Expand Maldives Portfolio

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on March 28, 2024

Atmosphere Core, a renowned international hospitality company, is set to broaden its presence in South Asia with the addition of Kudakurathu island in Raa Atoll, Maldives, to its management portfolio. The island, soon to be rebranded as 'RAAYA BY ATMOSPHERE,' is scheduled to open its doors on July 4, 2024, marking the third Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts property in the Maldives and the ninth globally.

Since its inception in December 2013, Atmosphere Core has been synonymous with exceptional service, innovative culinary concepts, and groundbreaking experiences, establishing its properties as premier choices in the Maldivian hospitality sector.

Salil Panigrahi, Managing Director of Atmosphere Core, expressed excitement about the expansion, stating, “By adding ‘RAAYA BY ATMOSPHERE’ to our growing Maldives portfolio, we aim to further enhance our brand position of ‘…A New Experience Awaits’. Our goal is to provide guests with curated experiences through our signature RAAYA™ Holiday Plan, ensuring unparalleled service at every touchpoint.”

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Accessible via a 45-minute seaplane flight from Velana International Airport, 'RAAYA BY ATMOSPHERE' is a sanctuary nestled amidst lush greenery, with 88 percent of its expanse dedicated to nature. The resort boasts 167 beach and ocean villas, six diverse dining options, and an array of recreational activities, including water sports, diving, and a kids club, offering guests a memorable escape enriched by the vibrant local culture.

Mr. Ranjit Batra, President, Hospitality of Kudakurathu Island Resort Pvt. Ltd., shared his enthusiasm, stating, “Kudakurathu is a captivating island that combines the untouched beauty of the Maldives with innovative design, creating a distinctive destination.”

With this expansion, Atmosphere Core continues its commitment to delivering exceptional hospitality experiences and creating unforgettable memories for guests in the Maldives and beyond.

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