The FINANCIAL -- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) on June 1 announced the signing of a management agreement with Al Majd Al Arabiah Company for what will be the world’s largest Holiday Inn hotel. Holiday Inn Makkah Abraaj Al Tayseer is due to open in The Holy City of Makkah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Comprising 5,154 rooms across five towers, Holiday Inn Makkah Abraaj Al Tayseer will take the site of the current Abraaj Al Tayseer pilgrim accommodation and open in phases. Nearly 1,650 rooms across two towers are due to open its doors to guests by the end of this year. The remaining 3,500 rooms are slated to open over the following three years, according to IHG.
The opening of Holiday Inn Makkah Abraaj Al Tayseer will cater to the growth in pilgrim visits to Makkah. Hajj visit numbers are expected to more than double, growing from 2 million in 2013 to exceed 5 million by 2025. Infrastructure under development, such as the expansion of Jeddah’s airport, which is expected to increase its capacity to 80 million passengers by 2035, will further boost pilgrim numbers in the coming years.
Located just 900 metres from the Grand Mosque, Holiday Inn Makkah Abraaj Al Tayseer will offer guests privileged views of the Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām (The Grand Mosque). Each tower will house one large all day dining restaurant, where menus will be tailored for guests travelling in groups. The two towers opening this year will also feature meeting spaces, fitness centres and a medical clinic.
Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, said: “As we celebrate our 40th year in Saudi Arabia, we are all the more focused on continuing our expansion in this key market. With religious travel growing, and the Government set to improve infrastructure in line with this, there is a need for more branded accommodation in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Medina. IHG is looking to play its part by opening more quality hotels to cater to the ever-growing number of pilgrims undertaking Hajj and Umrah each year.”
“Holiday Inn is one of the world’s most recognised hotels brands, and it’s fitting we are opening our largest Holiday Inn in Makkah. We look forward to receiving guests at Holiday Inn Makkah Abraaj Al Tayseer and are confident they will find their stay comfortable and welcoming – a key feature of Holiday Inn hotels across the globe,” he added.
Mr. Selman Al Fares, representing Al Majd Al Arabiah Company, added: “Saudi Arabia has a distinctive tourism landscape and Makkah is at the core of this for both local and international travellers. IHG as an operator understands the market, and during our years of partnership they have demonstrated their credentials as a strong partner with whom we are happy and comfortable to embark on this ambitious project. This is a milestone development for us and we’re confident Holiday Inn Makkah Abraaj Al Tayseer will bring The Holy City’s hospitality to another level. We look forward to the opening of the first two towers later this year."