Makkah Mukarramah : New hotels are coming up in the two holy cities, specially in Makkah Mukarramah. With over 50,000 existing rooms and 35,000 more in the pipeline, the two cities are important to operators of brand hotels.
Industry insiders said, under Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom plans to attract 3.75 million Hajj pilgrims by 2020 and 6.7 million by 2030 as well as 15 million Umrah pilgrims by 2020 and 30 million by 2030.
Besides upscale hotels near the Ka'aba Sharif in Makkah Mukarramah and Masjid e-Nabubi in Madina Munawara, there is a growing demand for mid-scale, budget and extended-stay properties, they said.
They also pointed out a shift in demographics of religious tourists, with more and more youngsters making up the visitor numbers, who prefer better quality and variety of hotels as well as excellent food and beverage.
Meanwhile, ahead of Hajj 2019, AccorHotels Makkah united its hotels in Makkah and Madinah under the umbrella of "Accor Holy Destinations," unifying booking processes for Hajj and Umrah.
Accor Holy Destinations, a first-of-its-kind alliance in the hospitality sector of Saudi Arabia, includes eight hotels in Makkah and three in Madinah.
Accor's Makkah hotels in additon to the Clock Royal Tower hotel include Fairmont Hotel, Swissôtel Al Maqam, Raffles Makkah Palace, Ibis Styles, Swissôtel Makkah, Pullman Zamzam, Mövenpick Hajar, and Mercure Hibatullah.
In Madinah, Accor's portfolio features Pullman Zamzam Madinah, Anwar Al Madinah Mövenpick Hotel, and Mövenpick Madinah.
The move totals 10,617 rooms, including residential units, suites, hotel apartments, royal floors and villas.
Park Inn by Radisson also opened ahead of Hajj at Aziziyah in Makkah. The hotel is close to the holy sites of Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah.
The much-talked-about Abraj Al-Bait (The Towers of the House) is a government-owned megatall complex of seven skyscraper hotels in Makkah. These towers are a part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project. The central hotel tower, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, has the world's largest clock face and is the third tallest building and fifth tallest freestanding structure in the world.
Abraj Al-Bait is located to the south from the main entrance - King Abdul-Aziz Gate - to the Holy Ka'aba. To accommodate pilgrims visiting the Ka'aba, Abraj Al-Bait Towers has two large prayer rooms - one for men, one for women - capable of holding more than 10,000 people. The tallest tower in the complex also contains a five-star hotel, operated by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.