Saudi may privatise five-star properties

Looking good ... The four-month project has transformed the Sheraton.

The Ministry of Finance and National Economy is considering the possibility of selling government stakes in five-star hotels in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah and Taif, a report said.

The Arab News said the state-owned InterContinental hotels in Riyadh, Makkah and Taif and Sheraton hotels in Madinah and Hada, Taif, will be sold to private investors.

The move comes after the Council of Ministers last month approved a list of 20 major economic sectors, including the hospitality sector, for privatisation.

The sale of the hotels will probably be done either through public auction, by establishing a company for the hotels or merging the hotels with a real estate company. The ministry may also invite investors to purchase government shares in these hotels, report said.

The report stated that the door was open for foreign investors in all sectors not included in the "negative list".