Plans for 'Airline Cabin' Hotels in Saudi Arabia

Plans for 'Airline Cabin' Hotels in Saudi Arabia

Vacation News » Middle East and Africa Vacation News Edition | By WPJ Staff | September 3, 2013 12:44 PM ET

A joint venture between Capitas Group International and IFA Hotel Investments aims to develop Yotel brand hotels in Saudi Arabia.

U.K.-based IFA is the majority owner of Yotel, which has been dubbed the "iPod of the hotel industry" for its modern, compact spaces.

Under the joint venture, IFA will invest capital in the projects and asset manage the hotels. Yotel will operate the hotels and customize to each market in the Kingdom, according to a company release. CGI will be the exclusive partner to develop the Yotel brand in Saudi Arabia. 

"This is an exciting opportunity for CGI to bring an innovative and unique, world-class hospitality brand to the Kingdom," Naveed Siddiqui, chief executive of Capitas Group International, said in the release. "Yotel serves the large 'affordable' category while providing luxury to hotel guests, targeting a wide range of customers -- from business travelers to religious tourists and pilgrims."

CGI plans to present the "unique product" to investors and land owners, the company says. 

"In the first phase we will be identifying locations in the holy cities, Riyadh and Jeddah for potential Yotel projects," Tariq Hameed, managing director of CGI's development management service, said in the release. "We have already started these conversations with land owners and look forward to expanding these discussions with other potential partners looking for viable projects to contribute their land."

The companies did not announce how many properties they plan to develop or in what timeframe. 

Yotel was created by Gerald Greene and Yo! founder Simon Woodroffe. With designs inspired by first-class airline cabins, Yotel offers a "bigger experience in a small space" with airport and city center locations. The rooms offer monsoon showers, a "techno wall" and relaxing purple mood lighting. The company recently announced it will enter Asia with a Singapore location due to open in 2018. 

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