World's largest Holiday Inn to be built in Makkah
IHG and Makkah Real Estate Company sign agreement for 1,238 room hotel
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Makkah Real Estate Company have signed an agreement to build the world’s largest Holiday Inn, the 1,238 room Holiday Inn Makkah, due to open in Saudi Arabia in 2016.
The new hotel will be the first Holiday Inn in Makkah and will be located in the Al Aziziyah area near the city’s business centre. Its 1,238 rooms will be built in two towers that will also house an all day dining restaurant, two coffee shops, a ballroom, health club and pool.
IHG’s chief operating officer for India, Middle East and Africa Pascal Gauvin said: “Millions of people travel from all over the world to make the pilgrimage to Makkah. Our Holiday Inn brand is one of the world’s most well-known brands so visitors from all corners of the global can book with us knowing they will get a consistent experience and level of comfort. On arrival guests can focus on their pilgrimage – a once in a lifetime experience.”
According to IHG this agreement has been made in response to the recent boom in religious tourism in KSA, with more than three million pilgrims participating in the Hajj in 2012. This figure was up eight percent on the previous year, and more than half of all inbound tourists to Saudi Arabia travel to the religious cities of Makkah and Medinah throughout the year. IHG has claimed that the total number of tourists travelling to Saudi Arabia is expected to continue its growth trajectory to reach 15.8 million by 2014, up from 13 million in 2010.
Hani Hamad Al Ghammas, Chief Executive Officer, Makkah Real Estate Company commented: “We are pleased to be announcing this new agreement with IHG. The Holiday Inn brand is all about great value and providing both comfort and quality. We are confident that this formula, which has been hugely successful elsewhere in Saudi Arabia, will be the ideal offering for religious travellers bound for Makkah each year.”
Located on the intersection of Masjid Ash Shaikh Baz and Al Masjid Al Haram Road, the new Holiday Inn will be 3.5km from the Haram, 3.5 kilometres from Mina, 1km from Jamarat, 6.4km from Mouzdalifah and 14.5km from Mount Arafat.