Power Hour 2022: GERARD J. INZERILLO Group CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority Vice Chairman, Forbes Travel Guide , Ranks 6th
Jerry Inzerillo is one of the hospitality industry’s most influential figures, acting as a champion for the sector and its people for more than five decades. From CEO of Forbes Travel Guide to CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, Inzerillo is now leading the transformation of the world’s most iconic tourism destination, Diriyah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In June 2018, he was appointed by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the first Group CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA). The Authority will turn the historic city of Diriyah into a centre of arts, culture, commerce and science. With the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif at its heart, it is set to become Saudi Arabia’s most iconic lifestyle and tourism destinations.
Upon completion, the USD 50.6 billion development will add 27 billion Saudi Riyals to Saudi Arabia’s GDP and provide 55,000 job opportunities. The development will be home to 100,000 people and will aim to attract 27 million visitors annually.
In 2021, Inzerillo was named Corporate Hotelier of the World by HOTELS magazine during their prestigious annual awards,
DGDA’s Future Plans
DGDA is building a world-class destination, from restaurants and hotels to cultural centres and residential areas:
In the entertainment sector, Diriyah is opening its premium dining district, Bujairi Terrace, hosting Michelin-starred restaurants and leading Saudi brands. Diriyah has also been host to the Formula E races, major boxing matches and the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.
In terms of tourism, Diriyah is a global player. DGDA has announced 14 global brands will join their 38-hotel-strong hospitality offering, including the Four Seasons, Armani, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, Six Senses, and many others. Diriyah is also preparing to open the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif to the public permanently for the very first time later this year.
Diriyah’s uniqueness lies in its ability to tangibly connect the destination to its deep-rooted history and cultural past while driving innovation to bring it into the future. Its buildings will be constructed using handmade mud bricks in the traditional Najdi style that is native to the region.
Diriyah’s first assets are slated to open this year, including the historic At-Turaif which will welcome guests permanently for the first time.