Mecca—Jabal Omar Development Co. has announced plans to open 10 hotel towers in Mecca next year as part of a 2.2 million-square-meter (24 million-square-foot) development project. Bloomberg reports Sameer Al-Quraishi, executive general director for the Saudi Arabian company, said the master-planned project was designed to feature a total of 38 hotel towers, as well as the country’s largest shopping mall.
Over 10 million people come to Mecca each year and approximately 3 million pilgrims attend the annual Hajj. Al-Quraishi said an increased demand for hotels is imminent as Saudi Arabia aims to allow more pilgrims to Mecca.
With a total estimated cost of 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) the project is being developed in five phases. Spread over 230,000 square meters (2,475,700 square feet) of land, the development will feature a total of 38 hotels, which will be managed by 28 companies and will offer an extra 13,500 rooms to Mecca’s hospitality industry upon completion in five years. Al-Quraishi named Blackstone Group Inc.’s Hilton Hotels, Marriott International Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.’s Sheraton amongst the companies that will be managing properties there. Located around 1000 feet away from the Grand Mosque, the development will also feature a prayer area which will be able to accommodate 65,000 worshipers, a power plant, a water-treatment system and a parking facility.
Nesma & Partners is building the first phase of the project, which includes 10 towers. The contract for the second phase, which will feature four towers, has been awarded to Baytur Construction Co. and Azmeel Contracting & Construction Corp. The designs for the final two phases are expected to be ready in six months. The first three phases have been funded via bank and government loans, as well as an increase in capital and Mecca-based Jabal Omar is currently analyzing financing options for the final two stages.