Bander bin Fahd al-Fehaid, head of the Arab Tourism Organization, plans to invest $300 million in the local market to increase the number of his company’s My Tuana hotels, which specialize in therapy and massage

All the My Tuana hotels will feature salt rooms, salt treatments, salt massages and salt water therapy combined with thermal water treatment, says Bander bin al-Fehaid. By the end of 2012 the number of these hotels will rise to 20 and grow to 50 in five years, he says. Company photo

Bander bin Fahd al-Fehaid, the chairman of the Arab Tourism Organization (ATO) and member of the Saudi royal family, plans to invest $300 million in the Turkish market with his Turkish partner, increasing the number of his My Tuana hotels in Turkey to 20, according to daily Dünya.

Agreements regarding four hotels have been inked, said Turkish businessman Mehmet Yücel, al-Fehaid’s partner, adding that talks for another seven hotels were in progress. By the end of 2012 the number of hotels in Turkey with the My Tuana concept will rise to 20 with a total investment of $300 million, he said.

“The chain will grow to 50 hotels in five years. Some of the hotels will be built from scratch,” Yücel said, noting that all the hotels would be in the five-star category. The concept the hotels employ brings together Himalayan salt and thermal waters, providing health tourism for Arab customers who are fond of spa and wellness services.

Hotels with salt rooms

“All of the My Tuana hotels will feature salt rooms, salt treatments, salt massage, salt water therapy,” al-Fehaid said. “We combine salt treatment with thermal water treatment.”

The investment move of al-Fehaid and Yücel comes as a result of a recent meeting of ATO in Egypt, where Arab businessmen, discussing

how to offset the $10 billion loss in tourism revenues caused by the Arab Spring, have decided to shift investments to Turkey.

Al-Fehaid is also said to have talked with Arab investors to finance a $2 billion thermal tourism project in Bursa. The mega project will be the largest thermal treatment complex of Turkey when completed. It is estimated to attract 500,000 tourists and $400 million in revenues per year.

One of the most notable steps that ATO will take as part of its investment initiative toward Turkey is the first Turkish-Arab Travel and Tourism conference (ATCEX 2012), which will be organized in the western province of Bursa from April 13 and 20.

Some 400 Arab investors are expected to participate and could yield significant investment decisions. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also scheduled to attend the event.

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