22 November ‎ 2021 | TDF in the News

His Excellency Al-Khateeb: Private sector investments in tourism already beginning to pay off

His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), today praised the Fund’s achievements since its establishment last year, which are contributing significantly to the progress of Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy (NTS).

His Excellency Al-Khateeb noted that since its establishment in June 2020 until the period ending 30 September 2021, TDF has deployed SAR 2 billion (USD 533.3 million) of capital to finance quality tourism projects with a total value of around SAR 6 billion (USD 1.6 billion). The remaining SAR 4 billion (USD 1.06 billion) has come from private sector investments, highlighting the Fund’s pivotal role in activating the private sector’s involvement in sustainable tourism development.

During this period, TDF has enabled several high-quality tourism projects, approximately 20% of which are for SMEs. Of these projects, around 30% are located in underdeveloped tourist areas, the development of which is anticipated to attract further investment in the coming period.

TDF's achievements directly support Saudi Arabia’s NTS by delivering projects in priority destinations, addressing gaps and enabling investment opportunities with the aim of providing a world-class experience for tourists in the Kingdom.

His Excellency Al-Khateeb reflected on the Fund’s achievements during a visit to the new TDF headquarters in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, where he was received by TDF’s Board of Directors and Executive Team, headed by CEO Qusai Al-Fakhri.

Qusai Al-Fakhri, CEO of TDF, said: “We are grateful for His Excellency’s development of a highly collaborative environment within the Kingdom’s tourism ecosystem, which enhances our ability to enable private sector investments in close cooperation with other government entities. Ultimately, our goals are aligned with the National Tourism Strategy, and we are pleased to share that TDF is currently collaborating with more than 235 private investors to enable projects that are in line with its objectives – a number that is rapidly growing as investors seek to take advantage of the sector’s expected boom.”

During the 18-month period ending 30 September 2021, TDF enabled projects located in nine major tourist destinations within the Kingdom, covering sectors such as accommodation, shopping, tourism experiences and activities, and entertainment facilities, among others. These projects will add an estimated 3,500 rooms and 21,000 jobs over the next three years.

Furthermore, to enhance its complementary relationship with banks in the Kingdom, TDF has signed agreements with several local banks with the aim of delivering the Fund's services to the largest possible segment of investors and enhancing support for them by providing comprehensive financing options. A prominent example of this is TDF’s agreement with Riyad Bank to launch the ‘Tourism Partners’ program, with a financing value of SAR 2 billion (USD 533.3 million). 

TDF works in direct coordination with the National Development Fund, and in close cooperation with its partners from government institutions within the Saudi tourism ecosystem, to provide investors with unparalleled opportunities. The Fund provides support to SMEs and large institutions alike, ranging from planning to providing support from various tourism-related government agencies. It offers a variety of tailored solutions that suit the needs of investors, including direct financing, bank guarantees, and co-financing with banks.

About Tourism Development Fund

The Tourism Development Fund (TDF) was established in 2020 with a capital of USD 4 billion to drive tourism growth in Saudi Arabia. TDF enables local and international investors looking to benefit from the sector’s high potential by providing viable funding solutions, and leveraging its wide network of partners including government entities, public and private lenders as well as operators and service providers… all deployed to bring investments to life.

Positioned firmly at the heart of Saudi’s tourism ecosystem, TDF is well placed to offer guidance and funding options to SMEs, and tailored investment solutions to qualified investors. The Fund’s vision is to contribute towards achieving the National Tourism Strategy’s objectives by unlocking opportunities in the tourism value chain for private sector investors, while focusing on long-term sustainability.

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