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As the site of the world's most attended event, Saudi Arabia has some catch up to do to make room for all its guests -- especially as the growing wealth of its pilgrims lead them to expect more.

A total of 214 new hotels will be built in the Kingdom over the next two years, according to an official from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA).

Salah Al-Bukayyet, deputy president of the SCTA, said the future looks “promising” for the industry and that an estimated SR 144 billion will be pumped into the hotel sector by 2020. The SCTA is currently developing a number of tourist destinations, including Al-Aqeer beach at a cost of SR 17 billion. “The first phase of the project will provide 1,364 rooms,” he said.

“These hotel projects are in line with the Kingdom’s aim to provide more tourism choices, better services and affordable prices,” said Al-Bukayyet.

He said there has been significant growth in the sector, particularly in Riyadh. “Many international names in the hospitality sector are entering the Saudi market for the first time while others are expanding,” he said.

He said the SCTA had drafted a plan to set up a mechanism to boost investments in the sector and provide funding for suitable projects.

A recent SCTA report indicated that 100 towers would be built in Makkah, led by the Jabal Omar and Jabal Al-Kaaba projects. The Jabal Al-Kaaba project stands on an area of 35,000 sq. meters, on which six international towers with 8,500 rooms will be built.

The developer, Abdul Latif Jameel will soon complete the first phase of the project, which is expected to open soon, with a chain of hotels under the name Anjum Makkah.


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Tags: riyadh, saudi arabia

Photo credit: Construction in the Jabal Al-Kaaba development. Ammar Abd Rabbo / Flickr

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