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SA24_TO_AHK_PIC_ABDULRAHMAN

SAUDI ARABIA - Tourism

Abdulrahman H. Al-Khathlan

Founder & CEO, AHK Group

Bio

Abdulrahman H. Al-Khathlan graduated with a degree in business development and management from UCLA. With a passion for the culinary world, he set out to travel across Europe to gain experience and discover new products and trends in the F&B arena. Upon his return to Saudi Arabia, Al-Khathlan became dedicated to paving his way to excellence in the hospitality and gastronomic field for 15 years. His ambition is to create a new and innovative vision in hospitality, raising the bar of luxury dining in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"Our goal is to be more present in the market, have a larger market share, and increase it by 10% overall."
TBY talks to Abdulrahman H. Al-Khathlan, Founder & CEO of AHK Group, about hospitality in Saudi Arabia, mega-projects, and targets for the year ahead.
What is the vision behind the group, and why did you establish AHK Group?

In the beginning, the vision was simple: It was focused passionate culinary experiences and hospitality. Whenever I travel, my first priority is to discover culinary culture and somehow bring that to Saudi Arabia. Today, with the vision 2030 and because of the leadership of High Royal Highness Mohammad Bin Salman, the country is rapidly developing, with increased competition. People want more than just good food. They have an urge for an unforgettable experience. That is what AHK Group strives to achieve. Furthermore, The AHK Group is a team player. As part of the Saudi Vision 2030, we believe that the entire nation must operate as one big team. When we notice that other hospitality businesses require consultation we offer our service to them with turnkey solutions. My ambition now is to take a local concept overseas in an attempt for the world to see the rich heritage that Saudi Cuisine brings. I believe this will tempt them to visit the beautiful country of Saudi Arabia and discover the tourism it has to offer.

How is the company contributing to the elevation of Saudi hospitality’s standards?

I am proud to be one of the pioneers of the sector. As I mentioned earlier, introducing new concepts and cuisines has always been my goal. We played—and still continue to play—a pivotal role in market education. That is one of the main purposes of AHK Group.

What opportunities do the mega and Giga-projects mushrooming across KSA offer the company?

Up until a few years ago, when I approached an international company, it was hard to convince them to enter the Saudi market. Now, however, it is much easier, and we have even been approached by international brands. Things have changed completely with time. NEOM and the Red Sea are upcoming major cities with great potential. We have been approached to establish a beach club for Red Sea. It will have a new island with several five-star hotels and a beach club. AHK Group was approached to be one of the operators, and we are currently coming up with other international names to also come in and work with us.

What are your main priorities and targets for the year?

I am proud to be part of the Vision 2030 and my priority is simple yet complex: to ensure that we offer the necessary culinary and hospitality experience to the market that enriches the tourism industry and allow Saudi Arabia to be one of those countries who took its rich culture and preserved it with a modern. Our goal is to be more present in the market, have a larger market share, and increase it by 10% overall. We also want to focus more on catering, because there is great demand for it. We also plan to close more deals with international restaurants. Most importantly, we want to complete our project in London and find the right location.

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