The new hotel rendering. The new hotel rendering.

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has signed its first project in Makkah, Saudi Arabia - a Taj property - with a partnership with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project.

This hotel will be IHCL’s fourth in the MENA region. The company manages Taj Dubai, and is set to open another two hotels in Dubai in the next 12 to 18 months.

The proposed hotel is situated within walking distance of the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram), and is also in close proximity to commercial offices, retail stores and restaurants within KAAR project. The hotel, scheduled to open in January 2023, will have approximately 340 keys, banqueting facilities and several restaurants.

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Speaking to Hotelier Middle East during Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2018, Taj Hotels executive vice president - real estate & development Suma Venkatesh said that as India has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, opening the hotel in Makkah made sense.

"From here, we will look to moving to Jeddah and Riyadh within Saudi Arabia, and further," Venkatesh revealed.