Essam Altayyar, CEO of Spectrums Holdings, and Tony Soh, CCO of The Ascott Limited. Essam Altayyar, CEO of Spectrums Holdings, and Tony Soh, CCO of The Ascott Limited.

The Ascott Limited has signed two new two new serviced residences in Makkah and Jeddah with owner The United Spectrums Holding Company, with the Ascott Makkah and Spectrum Serviced Residences in Jeddah both set to open in 2017.

The 280-unit Ascott Makkah is located on Al Masjid Al Haram Street in Makkah’s Al Aziziyah district, less than 2km from the Grand Mosque and Mina, the two main sites visited during the annual hajj and umrah pilgrimages.

Upon full completion of the Haramain High Speed Rail (which will eventually link Makkah, Jeddah, Madinah and beyond), the Ascott Makkah property will be a 30-minute journey from Jeddah’s Abdul Aziz International Airport – KSA’s busiest airport.

Meanwhile the low-rise Spectrum Serviced Residences in Jeddah will comprise 69 two-bedroom apartment units with varying layouts. Managed and operated by Ascott, facilities will include a breakfast area, residents’ lounge and children’s playroom.

Spectrum Serviced Residences is opposite the city’s Centerpoint Mall, close to Iceland Theme Park and a 15 minute-drive from the airport.

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“We are delighted to have signed the agreements to manage the Ascott Makkah and Spectrum Serviced Residences,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s area general manager in the GCC, in a statement.

"KSA remains a highly significant growth market and these latest signings not only strengthen Ascott’s leadership position in the kingdom, but also reinforce our presence in the wider Middle East."

Religious tourism to Makkah represents a major growth opportunity, noted Miccolis, and so Ascott Makkah will be developed specifically to cater to the needs of visitors on short- to mid-length stays.

The addition of Spectrum Serviced Residences in Jeddah takes Ascott’s tally of properties in the Red Sea port city to five.

"The future for Jeddah continues to look bright, with Abdul Aziz International Airport undergoing a multi-billion dollar expansion to increase its capacity to 30 million passengers by the year 2018, and to 80 million passengers by 2030,” added Miccolis.