Raffles Makkah Palace opens during Ramadan

Property billed as a 'new step' for Saudi Arabia's hotel market

Mohammed Arkobi, VP and MD of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International in Makkah.
Mohammed Arkobi, VP and MD of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International in Makkah.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts has opened its first hotel in Saudi Arabia in the holy city of Makkah.

Raffles Makkah Palace is located in the Abraj Al Bait complex, a seven-tower community directly adjoining the Masjid Al Haram (Grand Mosque) and the Kaaba.

Mohammed Arkobi, vice president and managing director of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International — Makkah, said the location gave Raffles “the opportunity to cater to the guests of the Holy City, making it a unique and one-of-a-kind experience”.

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The 213-suite property is designed to offer “an extremely discrete yet highly refined residential sanctuary”, with personal butlers on hand to anticipate guests’ needs.

There are four outlets for guests to choose from: Najes, a stylish tea salon; Al Majlis serving Middle Eastern cuisine; Al Qasr combining international, Moroccan, Arabvic and Indian cuisines; and The Raffles Creamery, which presents customised Teppanyaki ice cream.

According to the hotel’s group director of communications and business development Khaled Yamak, the hotel signals a step forward for Saudi Arabia’s hotel market.

“Raffles Makkah Palace is considered a new step in the hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia. With its unique heartfelt service and enchanting accommodation, residents will feel the difference,” he said.

The hotel is designed to cater for both religious and business tourism, with a business centre and business rooms also available.

Raffles Makkah Palace is the first of three hotels operated by FRHI to open at the Abraj Al Bait complex.

Also underway are the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, a Fairmont Hotel — a 76 storey hotel with 858 rooms — and Swissotel Makkah, due to open in 2011.

Meanwhile in Makkah, Rotana has reported a “surge in visitor footfall” at its 426-room hotel Al Marwa Rayhaan, also close to the Grand Mosque and part of the Al Bait complex.

Al Marwa Rayhaan by Rotana – Makkah GM Hany Khorshid said: “Al Marwa Rayhaan by Rotana achieved client satisfaction rate of 88% so far this month. At the same time, we are maintaining our commitment to deliver the highest levels of service quality to our guests to complement the corresponding business growth and the increasing investments in various hospitality and tourism infrastructure.

"Furthermore, with the arrival of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Al Marwa Rayhaan by Rotana is now prepared to accommodate a further surge in demand for hotel rooms and hotel facilities. Al Marwa Rayhaan by Rotana is particularly preparing for tourists from the UAE, Kuwait, Turkey and Egypt, which are traditionally the biggest markets for visitors during this season.”

Khorshid added: “We are now expanding our existing facilities and amenities that already include three world-class restaurants as well as transport facilities to and from the airport”.


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