INTERVIEW: Cluster general manager – KSA, Shaza Hotels, Amjad Irshaidat

Shaza Hotels

With game-changing developments rapidly rolling out, Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry is well on its way to bigger and better things. Recognising the immense potential, Shaza Hotels, a hospitality expert with one operating hotel in the KSA, is gearing up for impressive and tactical expansion in the country. The hotel group’s cluster general manager – KSA, Amjad Irshaidat speaks to Tatiana Tsierkezou.

TTG: Reflecting on 2017, how successful has it been for Shaza Al Madina? What are you looking forward to next?
The year 2017 was a very successful year for Shaza Al Madina, especially during the Hajj period. The timely showcasing and the introduction of standard typical triple rooms and quad rooms helped accommodate the increased number of incoming pilgrims.

The main source of our enthusiasm at the moment is the completion of the renovation and refurbishment project of Shaza Al Madina and the future opening of Shaza Hotels in Makkah (Q1 of 2018), Riyadh (Q2 of 2018) and Jeddah (Q4 of 2020).

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TTG: What developments are positively influencing your strategies? What is Shaza Hotels doing to contribute to the Saudi Vision 2030?
The Haram expansion projects in Makkah and Madinah indicate that the number of pilgrims will increase in the future. The Makkah project will increase the mosque’s capacity to 2.5 million pilgrims, while the Madinah mosque expansion will accommodate more than 1.5 million.
With the opening of Shaza Makkah, we will contribute by attracting more pilgrims to both Makkah and Madinah. We always tailor-make packages and we are now promoting them not only in Madinah, but across both Makkah and Madinah properties, which will help increase the number of incoming pilgrims to both of these destinations.

TTG: Which markets are key to Shaza Hotels at the moment?
Shaza Al Madina carries its own new concept of hospitality, which is reflected in its services and the general product, compared to the existing hotels in the city. This makes us unique to all feeder markets, especially the GCC, the Far East, Turkey, North Africa and South Africa, where this concept is very much admired.

Currently, we are focusing more on the Asia Pacific region, especially on Pakistan and India.

TTG: Looking ahead to 2018, what is Shaza Hotels’ plan of action?
Looking into the needs and requirement of our clientele, we are focusing more on increasing the length-of-stay of major feeder markets by designing and customising special tailor-made packages, while increasing revenue by introducing a very unique ‘Silk Floor’ lounge for the guests.

At the same time, we are attracting official delegations, protocols and niche clientele by promoting our ‘Tiara Suite’, the first and only one of its kind in all of Al Madinah. It occupies the prime penthouse floor overlooking Al Masjid Al Nabawi. It is the epitome of grandeur, with two master bedrooms and an adjoining kids’ suite – each with a walk-in closet and master bathroom.

The suite also has two luxurious living areas, a boardroom, a private kitchen, two majlis, as well as an office, creating an environment cocooned in elegance, sophistication and serenity. The Shaza Tiara Suite is the largest in all of Al Madinah, spanning 450m2.

TTG: Finally, can you highlight any noteworthy tourism developments that will positively affect Shaza Hotels’ business?
The aforementioned Haram expansion projects in Makkah and Madinah, and the main high-speed rail line network connecting the Kingdom’s two holy cities via stations at Jeddah and Rabigh will increase the flow of pilgrims to these cities.