Jabal Omar Development Company plans to open 10 hotels in the holy city of Makkah, its executive general director Sameer Al Quraishi said. Jabal Omar is investing $3.2 billion to develop the 2.2 million square meters (24 million square feet) of land near the Grand Mosque, he said. The site was designed to include 38 hotel towers and the country's largest shopping mall, he added. "Saudi Arabia is aiming to increase the number of people who are allowed to perform the annual pilgrimage," he said.
"It's also mostly trying to accommodate more religious visitors and that will surely increase demand for hotels," he noted. More than 10 million people descend on Makkah throughout the year and about 3 million pilgrims attend the annual Haj. Hotel operators Marriott International , Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels and Sheraton will manage properties on the development, said Al Quraishi. The SR billion ($5.3 billion) project, to be developed in five phases, will include 38 hotels, managed by 28 companies and will add 13,500 rooms to Makkah's hospitality industry once complete in five years. Marriott International Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corp., Blackstone Group Inc.'s Hilton Hotels and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.'s Sheraton unit will manage properties there, Al-Quraishi said. The 38 hotels under construction will be managed by 28 companies and will add 13,500 rooms to Makkah's hospitality industry.
The Saudi Gazette