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Elaf Expands Hotel Portfolio in Saudi Arabia

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The Elaf Group of Companies, a business organisation serving the Saudi Arabian travel, tourism and hotel industries, recently launched a major expansion initiative in the Saudi hotel sector, driven by a significant surge in religious tourism, which according to recent reports has achieved a remarkable 30% growth in the first quarter of 2009.

Elaf has particularly prepared for the new Umrah season that started in February 2009, noting a considerable growth trend as around 3.5 million pilgrims are expected to visit the Kingdom in the current Umrah season.

Religious tourism in Saudi generates around US$ 7 billion annually according to recent reports, while the government has allocated a total of US$ 38 billion in tourism infrastructure and transport systems, including a high-speed railway system that will link Jeddah, Makka and Madinah, three key travel destinations in the country.

Accordingly, to complement the religious tourism sector's robust growth, Elaf has strengthened its presence in the three cities by launching a string of five new hotels as part of a SR 1.25 billion investment by Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO) - of which Elaf Group is a subsidiary - to develop various hospitality and tourism projects in the Kingdom.

Tarek Nabulsi, Deputy CEO, Elaf Group of Companies said, "Global travel has become more affordable now with several special discounts, promotional activities and highly competitive airline prices, which have all contributed to the significant increase in the number of Umrah pilgrims and the strong growth of the Saudi tourist market. Accordingly, Elaf intends to cater to the new requirements of the burgeoning religious tourism sector by expanding our portfolio of hotel facilities in the key cities of Jeddah, Makka and Madinah."

Saudi Arabia is expected to generate a total of SR 13 billion during the current Umrah season, a key figure that will help strengthen the country's status as one of the top tourist destinations and a leading hotel markets in the Middle East.

Elaf is to launch two hotels each in Makkah and Jeddah and one in Madinah with a combined capacity of 5,000 rooms within the next three years. Makkah and Jeddah registered a growth in revenue per available room (revPAR) of 32.7% and 30.3% respectively during the first quarter of 2009, according to a recent quarterly report by Deloitte.

Elaf Group of Companies is a fully integrated organisation providing a complete line of hotel, travel, tourism, cargo, Hajj and Umrah services.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, First Class, Business Class, GDS, Miles, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, Visitor Arrivals, Cruises, Free Deals, Elaf, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Makka, Madinah

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