34.3 C
Doha
Monday, April 19, 2021

Hilton plans ‘iconic’ Salwa beach resort in southwest Qatar

-

Salwa Beach resort

A new massive waterfront resort roughly 100km outside of Doha is expected to open by the end of 2019, developers have announced.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts will operate the 362-room resort, which will be owned by Al Rayyan Hospitality and located off of Salwa Road, approximately 15 minutes away from the Saudi Arabian border.

Speaking to Doha News, Carlos Khneisser, Hilton’s vice-president for Middle East development, said:

“It’s the entrance to Qatar. (The property has) a clean beach with clear water and a very peaceful environment. It is the right location … there is no doubt that this will be iconic.”

Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas will be constructed on 257 acres of land and is envisioned to include a water park, marina, dive center, cinemas, pools, health club, spa and considerable retail space.

In addition to the rooms and suites in the main hotel building, the resort will include two small “villages” of family villas.

Renderings by SKS Studio

Khneisser compared the plans to the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Hotel and Resort in the UAE, but said the Qatar facility will be constructed on a much larger scale and be the biggest of its kind in the Middle East.

He added that considerable effort would go into marketing packages that include food and access to the resort’s amenities.

“If someone is staying three or four days, you want to make sure their time is full … When you have a resort of that magnitude, it should be easy for someone to have a full agenda,” Khneisser said.

As the operator, he said he did not know the project’s construction cost and that room rates would be determined closer to the resort’s opening date.

The market

Khneisser said the resort would fill a gap in Qatar’s hospitality market, which is dominated by high-end business-oriented hotels in central Doha.

In addition to business travelers looking to extend their stay, Khneisser said Hilton would initially be targeting local residents as well as families from Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

As the resort becomes well-known in the region, it would hopefully attract an “additional layer” of foreign guests, he said.

While Khneisser said it’s “too early” to say whether the resort will be licensed to serve alcohol, a press release stated that the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas will have 13 restaurants, bars and lounges.

If it does serve alcohol, the resort could find itself popular with residents of Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is banned. Many Saudis travel to Bahrain because of its proximity and liberal alcohol policies, which some say has led the island state to develop a reputation as a party country that’s become “the brothel of the Gulf.”

Family-minded

In contrast, Qatar tourism officials have repeatedly said they want this country to offer a “predictable” experience for families that preserves the country’s Islamic identity and moral code.

The Hilton Salwa is the second resort planned for Qatar. Anantara’s Banana Island Resort Doha is supposed to open this year, but its website is still not taking reservations.

Khneisser said the market can support more than two resorts.

Qatar attracted 1.3 million tourists last year, up 8.3 percent from 2012. Most visitors came from other GCC nations and traveled to Qatar for business.

As part of its long-term strategy, the Qatar Tourism Authority wants the number of tourists to increase to between 6.7 million and 7.4 million by 2030, with the largest growth coming from leisure visitors originating from outside the region.

It plans to focus on its promotional and funding efforts on tourism products and services in several categories, one of which is “sun and beach” attractions such as resorts, water sports and luxury cruises that capitalize on the country’s warm weather and extensive shorelines.

Thoughts?

12 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ahmed A
Ahmed A
6 years ago

Awesome, hopefully its not another Barwa Oryx project.

guest
guest
6 years ago

This will reduce public access to beaches, admittedly to the few who can afford to drive to the Inland Sea in SUVs.
The only public beach in Doha was taken over by the luxury Sharq Spa development, low cost beach access closed off by levelling Palm Tree Island, Sea Line beaches appropriated for Industrial Development etc. etc. Most of the decent beaches except Fuwairit have been fenced off for private use. At some stage Qatar must realise that barring access to the few attractive places in the country is counterproductive. Not everyone wants or can afford Luxury, reducing the options of the majority of the population for leisure is not in the long term interest of the country. .

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  guest

Zikreet / Dukhan is a good choice

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

No wine, no dine.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

Being so close to the Saudi border and assuming there will be a lot of Saudis visiting, does that mean a bikini ban? Or basically a swimsuit ban for women?

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

probably the opposite considering many saudi’s wana wear bakini’s and relax on the beach. this is probably gona cater to them. if were smart we will allow alcohol there as well

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

They could have a cloak room on arrival, check your thobe, check your abaya and welcome to Ibiza or Phuket! …. ;-Q

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago

Agreed – allowing alcohol that close to Saudi would mean a huge potential to compete with Bahrain for the Saudi weekend tourist. And far enough from the major towns and cities so as not to upset anyone.

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

Great! Another ghost town in the making

MB
MB
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

I can see a name change in a few years…perhaps The Overlook Hotel. Although with the low caretaker salaries being offered and the possible lack of alcohol there may not be too many takers like Jack Torrance. And the resulting boiler explosion will surely be investigated thoroughly

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

If anyone has ever been to Bahrain on a Thursday evening you will see how many Saudi’s there are there all there for their drink and to find some ‘ladies’
I assume Qatar doesn’t want to be associated in the same way though.
Didn’t they say recently that they wanted to target more tourists from outside of the region? In that case they will have no choice but to start serving alcohol at some of these proposed ‘luxury’ resorts.

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

and the guys from the industrial area can also drop in for a sip when they get thirsty. Looks like a win win situation

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.