This landmark agreement responds to the boom in religious tourism to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Over 3 million pilgrims participated in Hajj in 2012, up eight percent on the previous year, and more than half of all inbound tourists to Saudi Arabia travel to the religious cities of Makkah and Medinah throughout the year. The total number of tourists travelling to Saudi Arabia is expected to continue its growth trajectory to reach 15.8 million by 2014, up from c.13 million in 2010.
This will be the first Holiday Inn on the Pilgrimage route and will be located in Al Aziziyah area near the city’s business centre. Its 1,238 rooms will be built in two towers and house three food and beverage outlets including an all day dining restaurant and two coffee shops. Facilities include a ballroom, health club and pool.
Hani Hamad Al Ghammas, Chief Executive Officer, Makkah Real Estate Company commented: “We are pleased to be announcing this new agreement with IHG. The Holiday Inn brand is all about great value and providing both comfort and quality. We are confident that this formula, which has been hugely successful elsewhere in Saudi Arabia, will be the ideal offering for religious travellers bound for Makkah each year.”
Located on the intersection of Masjid Ash Shaikh Baz and Al Masjid Al Haram Road, the new Holiday Inn will be 3.5km from the Haram, 3.5 kilometres from Mina, 1km from Jamarat, 6.4km from Mouzdalifah and 14.5km from Mount Arafat.
Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “Millions of people travel from all over the world to make the pilgrimage to Makkah. Our Holiday Inn brand is one of the world’s most well-known brands so visitors from all corners of the global can book with us knowing they will get a consistent experience and level of comfort. On arrival guests can focus on their pilgrimage – a once in a lifetime experience.”
Currently the world’s largest Holiday Inn is the 1,224 room Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central situated in Macao, Greater China.
IHG in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - facts and figures:
IHG opened Saudi Arabia’s first international hotel in 1975
IHG is the largest international hotel company in Saudi Arabia, with 24 hotels and 5,880 rooms
IHG is due to grow in Saudi Arabia by 50% over the next 3-5 years, with seven new hotels taking its total inventory from 5,880 to 7,765 rooms
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