The logo of OYO Rooms, operated by Oravel Stays Pvt, is displayed outside a hotel in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

OYO Expands International Footprint With Saudi Arabia Foray

Hospitality firm Oyo Hotels & Homes said it had launched operations in Saudi Arabia after signing of deals for 50 hotels having more than 3,000 rooms across seven cities.

These properties will be operated under the franchise model with full inventory control similar to other markets like India and China, Oyo said in a statement.

The company plans to create jobs for over 5,000 Saudi citizens by 2020. It also plans to set up two Oyo Skill Institutes—one in Riyadh and another in Jeddah—to train Saudi graduates in hotel management, it added.

Oyo has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia, attesting to the business potential it sees in the market there, the statement said.

"The company obtained its foreign investment licence from Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority few months ago and plans to invest significantly in Saudi Arabia, and expand to over 17 cities across six provinces by 2020," SAGIA Governor Ibrahim bin Abdul Rahman Al-Omar said.

Oyo Hotels in Saudi Arabia will employ over 300 local citizens by end of 2019, and generate employment for over 5,000 Saudi citizens by 2020, the statement said.

Commenting on the development, Oyo Hotels & Homes Group CEO and Founder Ritesh Agarwal said, "We are committed to creating quality, affordable living spaces, and thousands of jobs for the young people of Saudi Arabia. It has been our long-standing belief that provided with the right direction and tools, smaller assets can also generate positive returns."

This expansion, therefore, is in line with company's quest to support Saudi Arabia's blossoming hospitality ecosystem and creating infrastructure for asset owners to grow and run successful businesses, all of this while ensuring high standards of quality, he added.

Also read: Breakneck Expansion Poses Challenge As Oyo’s First Bet Pays Off 

"We are honoured and delighted to support the Saudi government's vision 2030 for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and are committed to continuing investing in the multi-billion dollar opportunity in the hospitality industry in the country," Agarwal said.

With this launch, Oyo is now present in nine countries—India, Nepal, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the U.A.E., the U.K., Philippines and Saudi Arabia.

The company currently has over 13,000 franchised or leased hotels and over 6,000 homes as a part its network.