Saudi Arabia 2021 | TOURISM | VIP INTERVIEW

With exceptional luxury offerings and top-notch services, the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh strives to offer all its guests service fit for royalty. Here, TBY talks to Mohammed Marghalani, Hotel Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh.

Can you tell us more about the architecture and the design elements of the Ritz Carlton?

This elegant hotel modeled on traditional palaces and Arabian architecture is situated within 213,500sqm of exquisitely landscaped gardens with native palms, olive trees from Lebanon, and water fountains, creating an oasis in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. This majestic hotel's prime location in the literal heart of the Arabian Peninsula offers many significant advantages to visiting guests and dignitaries. Dining venues includes Al Orjouan, the signature all-day dining buffet restaurant featuring Lebanese favorites; and Turquoise, the cigar lounge that will be home to one of the widest selections of Cuban cigars in Saudi Arabia. Presenting an alfresco option is Chorisia Lounge for leisurely breakfast, lunch, or the signature afternoon tea, while Strike offers a fun atmosphere for mocktails and smoothies within the 10,700sqft indoor six-lane bowling alley.

What distinguishes the Ritz-Carlton?

The formula for a successful hotel operation is about genuine care, as well as exceptional products and services. This eventually will lead to a profit leadership. At the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh our Ladies & Gentlemen are most important resources in our service commitment to our guests. They strive to provide the genuine care and the finest personal service for all our valuable guests. At the same time, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh provide luxury in all aspects from when you first enter gate you will be astonished by the grandeur of the palace which intricately desired for royalty.

What kind of activities will the Ritz-Carlton offer to tourists?

One of the goals of Saudi's Vision 2030 is increasing the number of tourists from 16 million in 2016 to 30 million by 2025. Notably, the government has devoted almost SAR60 billion to invest in the leisure, heritage, and entertainment markets. Hotels in the Kingdom are now thinking of improving their facilities and services in line with the upcoming trends. The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh offers live entertainment, a family atmosphere, a kids' area, and more services at the concierge desk to facilitate guests in Riyadh's new attractions. A tourist visa was recently launched, and we have already witnessed a good number of tourists coming to attend events such as Formula E and World Heavy Weight Boxing Championship.

What are your expectations from this sector going forward?

Riyadh always had a business focus, but times are changing in Kingdom, thanks to Vision 2030. This will have in the coming years a positive impact on the hotel industry in Riyadh. Not so long ago, hotels in Riyadh had a high occupancy during the weekdays and low occupancy during the weekends. However, now the gap will be filled by the opening of the tourist visa and the new attractions taking place.

How are you utilizing IoT technologies at the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh?

Sustainability and participating in protecting the environment are a priority, and many hotels are using their resources in order to be environmentally friendly. This is one of our priorities. One of the initiatives we have started in this sense is the mobile check-in. The purpose is to eliminate the use of paper and plastic. This is only one part of the Ritz-Carlton's vision for environmental sustainability.

How is the Ritz-Carlton in terms of empowering women?

In line with Vision 2030, empowering women will improve our productivity. The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh also believes that women are a big part of society, and we are eager to increase the number of female employees in our hotel to further improve our services.