Swiss-Belhotel International (SBI) has announced its debut in Makkah with the signing of Swiss-Belhotel Al Aziziya Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
Featuring 525 rooms, the four-star property owned by Cardamom International Property Management LLC, is expected to be ready for opening by Q2 2018.
The hotel will also feature a restaurant, a lobby café and extensive banquet facilities.
Saudi Arabia currently has the most hotel rooms under construction in the Middle East and North Africa, with 36,742 keys in 85 projects. Makkah is one of the biggest hotel markets in the Kingdom, with 27,000 rooms (compared to 11,000 in Riyadh and 9,400 in Jeddah). The Saudi 2030 Vision recognises the role religious tourism can play in diversifying the economy with religious pilgrims currently contributing two to three percent of Saudi’s GDP. There are plans to roughly double the capacity to accommodate both Umrah and Hajj visitors to around 15 million and five million respectively by 2020. In addition to massive development of hotels, the Saudi government is investing in major transport infrastructure to grow tourism such as the new Jeddah airport (open 2018) and the Haramain High Speed Rail line (2018) linking the holy cities of Medina and Mecca via King Abdullah Economic City, Rabigh, Jeddah, and the new Jeddah airport.
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