Swiss-Belhotel to enter Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah is expected to be ready for opening by the second quarter of 2018
Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) is set to make its debut into the Holy city of Makkah with the signing of Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
Featuring 525 rooms, the upscale four-star property is owned by Cardamom International Property Management LLC and is located in the expanding hotel hub of Makkah only a few minutes’ drive away from Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Al Aziziya. The hotel is expected to be ready for opening by the second quarter of 2018. The hotel will also feature a restaurant, a lobby café and banquet facilities.
Making the announcement, Swiss-Belhotel International senior vice president operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India Laurent A. Voivenel said, “Saudi Arabia is a key development market for us and we are proud to debut in the Holy City of Makkah with this outstanding project. We are truly grateful to Cardamom International Property Management for giving us this fabulous opportunity. With its prime location and excellent facilities, Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah will offer a distinctive hospitality experience to pilgrims when it opens its doors early next year.”
Nawaf bin Mansour bin Saleh Al Sharif, the owner of Cardamom International Property Management, stated, “The steady growth of religious tourism in Makkah is fuelling demand for high-quality hotels in the city. Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah is a very significant project for us and we are pleased to partner with Swiss-Belhotel International that is a globally successful company and well equipped to meet the needs of the Saudi hotel sector in accordance with the best international standards.”
Saudi Arabia currently has the most hotel rooms under construction in the Middle East and North Africa, with 36,742 keys in 85 projects. Makkah is one of the biggest hotel markets in the Kingdom, with 27,000 rooms (compared to 11,000 in Riyadh and 9,400 in Jeddah). The 'Saudi 2030 Vision' recognises the role religious tourism can play in diversifying the economy with religious pilgrims currently contributing two to three percent of Saudi’s GDP. There are plans to roughly double the capacity to accommodate both Umrah and Hajj visitors to around 15 million and five million respectively by 2020. In addition to hotel development, the Saudi government is investing in transport infrastructure to grow tourism such as the new Jeddah airport (opening 2018) and the Haramain high speed rail line (opening 2018) linking the holy cities of Medina and Mecca via King Abdullah Economic City, Rabigh, Jeddah, and the new Jeddah airport.