Performance Review | Direct Investments
Elaf Group

Elaf Group is a leader in Saudi Arabia’s travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. Formed in 1981, Elaf operates a string of three, four and five star hotels, offers Hajj and Umrah services, and operates tour and travel agencies.

Ziyad Bin Mahfouz
Chief Executive Officer

Elaf concentrated on measured growth in profitable segments by tapping new markets and deepening its footprint in existing ones. Technological innovations were harnessed to upgrade the customer experience across multiple touchpoints. A cost rationalization drive saw expense monitoring in a market trending towards price competition and rising costs.

A successful operating year saw hotel revenues rise by SAR 52 million compared to 2017. Hajj and Umrah tourism revenues climbed by SAR 28 million, with Elaf recording the highest number of Umrah visas in the brand’s operating history.

Hotel Galleria, the new flagship in Jeddah, was launched early in the year. It performed strongly to achieve high revenue targets while garnering high customer ratings on popular booking platforms. In December, the hotel won the ‘Best Luxury Architecture Design Hotel’ award at the World Luxury Hotel Awards, and the ‘Best-rated Hotel’ award from Booking.com.

The renovated Al Majeedi Grand relaunched in Madinah, with 631 rooms making it Elaf’s largest Madinah property in terms of room inventory.

A successful operating year saw hotel revenues rise by SAR 52 million compared to 2017. Hajj and Umrah tourism revenues climbed by SAR 28 million, with Elaf recording the highest number of Umrah visas in the brand’s operating history.

In new business opportunities, Elaf was shortlisted via government tender for managing the first two hotels in Neom, the smart city and tourist hub project in northwest Saudi Arabia.

Technological investments were also made in 2018. Phase two of an enhanced call center created a centralized platform for all hotels under the Elaf brand. A new mobile app appealed to smartphone users while a real-time booking engine was introduced. A Global Distribution System (GDS) was also launched for Hotel Galleria and Al Majeedi Grand to make inventory available to channel partners.

On the HR front, training sessions targeted a large number of staff members and upgraded their skills on operating procedures. A hotel grading system was introduced to measure performance, while an emphasis on Saudization continued apace.

Looking to the future

Informed by the SEDCO Focus 2025 strategy, Elaf will continue participating in new hospitality opportunities sparked by the Saudi Vision 2030. The brand will develop budget offerings to cater for an expected swell in Umrah visitors catalyzed by the implementation of Vision 2030.

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