After a series of delays, Nobu Hospitality plans to announce a new opening date for the long-awaited Nobu Hotel in Riyadh “very soon”, according to Nobu Hospitality CEO Trevor Horwell.
In Nobu Hospitality’s original announcement regarding the property in 2012, it was stated that the hotel would open in 2013. Later statements regarding the property stated that it would open in 2015.
In an interview last year with Arabian Business’ sister publication Hotelier Middle East, the property’s then-general manager, Simon Fricker, said that the hotel would have a soft opening in Q4 2018.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visted Jeddah’s seasonal Nobu Restaurant this month where he was received by Hatem bin Abdulaziz Al-Hamdan, acting general manager of Nobu Hotel.
The hotel’s website currently says “the hotel will make its debut in late 2019”.
Responding to questions about further delays from Arabian Business, Horwell said in a statement that “it is not unusual for openings of new hotels to be delayed”.
“More importantly, we are fully aligned with the right partner in the kingdom and will be announcing the schedule very soon to open the Nobu hotel in Riyadh,” he added.
Horwell’s statement did not comment on whether the hotel is still expected to open in late 2019.
Designed as an ‘urban oasis’ in downtown Riyadh, the 23-storey Nobu Riyadh will include 134 rooms as well as the kingdom’s first permanent Nobu restaurant.
The hotel is a collaboration between Nobu and the Dhaliliyah investment and development company owned by Princess Nouf Bint Mohammed bin Fahad Al-Saud, the daughter of Prince Mohammed bin Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Japanese celebrity chef and restauranteur Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
Earlier in June, Nobu – one of the world’s most recognised Japanese restaurants – opened a restaurant pop-up on Jeddah’s waterfront as part of the ‘Jeddah Season’ cultural festival.
“We are encouraged by the Nobu Jeddah pop-up and all of the support from our local and loyal Nobu customers in Saudi Arabia,” Horwell added.
The Nobu chain of restaurants and hotels was also co-founded and co-owned by acclaimed American actor Robert De Niro and producer Meir Teper.
Nobu Hospitality currently has hotels operating in Barcelona, Chicago, Ibiza Bay, Las Vegas, Los Cabos, Malibu, Manila, Marbella, Miami Beach and Palo Alto, along with two in London.
In addition to Riyadh, Nobu Hospitality also plans to open hotels in Atlanta, Sao Paolo, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Warsaw.
The company had also previously announced plans to open a hotel in Bahrain, although it does not appear on a list of planned openings on the Nobu Hospitality website.