Hyatt Regency to get new look<!-- -->

The Regency Club lounge ... a place to relax for businessmen.

Located centrally in the Saudi Arabian capital, the Hyatt Regency Riyadh will further boost its appeal to visitors to the kingdom following a wide-ranging renovation programme set to begin this November.

The hotel says it expects to start renovating its rooms, meeting rooms and public areas beginning November and the programme will be completed by early 2004.

The Hyatt Regency Riyadh is located in the centre of the city, just a short walk from the government offices, the business and financial district and close to the traditional markets.

The hotel offers 317 rooms including 10 Royal Suites, 4 Diplomatic Suites, 46 Business Suites and 110 Regency Club rooms. All rooms have individually controlled air conditioning, private bath and shower, hairdryer, radio, satellite TV, minifridge and an IDD telephone with voicemail.

The Regency Club offers two floors of exclusive accommodation with fax machine, and trouser press, as well as a private lounge offering complimentary buffet breakfast, all day tea and coffee service and complimentary hot and cold hors d'oeuvres every evening.

In addition to the tailored business rooms, the Hyatt Business Centre offers comprehensive office services. A boardroom is available for meetings. On the leisure side, Club Olympus fitness centre is equipped with new state of the art aerobic and anaerobic equipment.

Hyatt restaurants offer four choices ranging from the Brasserie on Four, an informal café-restaurant offering Arabic and international buffets as well as a la carte menu. Olivio's for authentic Italian cuisine, Shogun serving traditional Japanese cuisine which also features a Sushi bar and Teppanyaki tables, and Café Vienna, Riyadh's favourite meeting place offering a wide selection of freshly baked cakes, pastries and coffees.

Hyatt Regency caters primarily to the business travel market and has reported year to date occupancy levels of between 55 per cent and 60 per cent this year.

Director of sales and marketing Christophe Pagni praised the government for its role in boosting tourism in the kingdom.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recognises that the tourism will play an important role in the expansion of the domestic economy," he said.

"The government is working at several levels; there has been a tremendous increase in domestic tourism since 9/11, as vacationers alter plans to stay closer to home and avoid travelling to Europe and US.

"Religious tourism to Saudi Arabia will always be strong, as it houses two of the most important Islamic holy sites, Makkah and Medinah.

"There is no doubt that the planned increase in tourist numbers will have a very positive effect on the local economy."

He added however that more marketing efforts were required to promote Saudi Arabia and further easing of visa rules would help boost the industry.