Amidst financial crisis and economic slowdown, booms Saudi Arabia’s luxury hotel industry! Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be since it is the land of the Royals and the Holiest Islamic city Mecca where millions of pilgrims congregate for the annual Hajj.
Abraj Kudai, Sheraton Makkah Jabal Al Kaaba, and Aloft Riyadh are the three giant luxury hotels that are adding to the glory of the Kingdom. The Abraj Kudai, which is expected to open doors in 2017, will be the world’s largest hotel encompassing 12 towers spread across a “desert fortress” style area of 1.4mn sq m. Situated just 2km from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the hotel is the brain-child of the Dar Al-Handasah Group. The Saudi Finance Ministery is financing the USD 4.5bn project. The 45-storey monolith will house 4/5 star accommodation, 70 restaurants, four helipads, and 10,000 guest rooms. Other features include a luxury ballroom, shopping mall, conference space, bus station, and food courts. Abraj Kudai will have five of its floors reserved for the Saudi Royals.
Again in Mecca, US-based hotel and leisure company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is openining its Sheraton brand hotel. Named as Sheraton Makkah Jabal Al Kaaba, the hotel has 414 rooms, four dining areas, and spaces for confernece and event; all boasting Shertaon’s A-class services and facilities. The hotel’s inauguration is slated for late 2016. Sheraton Makkah Jabal Al Kaaba is held by Altayyar Travel Group Holding Company. The massive space allows guests to get a view of the Holy mosque as the hotel falls in the vicinity.
“Owing to the rising demand for luxury and hospitality in Saudi, Starwood aims to have 100 hotels here by 2020.”
Starwood recently gifted another hotel to the Saudis called Aloft Riyadh, marking the debut of the Aloft brand in Arabian Kingdom. Set between the Makkah Road and Olaya Street in Riyadh, the new hotel places guests in area surrounded by the National Museum, the Diplomatic Quarter, and shopping areas. Aloft Riyadh is held by Fawaz Al Hokair Group’s FAS Hotels. The building includes 281 modern guest rooms, Starwood’s W XYZ Lounge, the Re:charge gym, Crushrooftop pool café, eating outlets like Re:fuel and Dish, and over 220 M2 of meeting zones spanning across 5
Tactic rooms. The biggest highlight of Aloft Riyadh is the keyless entry system “SPG Keyless”, the first of its kind in the Kingdom. The system lets guests use their smartphone or Apple watch as a mobile room key. They can also use SPG Let’s Chat text messaging service. Following this debut, Aloft Dhahran too will open by late 2016. Located near Mall of Dhahran, the Aloft hotel will have 262 rooms.
Thanks to all these openings, the Kingdom’s hoteliering sector is now being counted amomg the world’s top hospitality industries.