Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) has announced the opening of the Makkah Marriott Hotel, the company’s first flagship brand in the holy city. The arabesque themed 426-room property sits on the hill top of Makkah, providing guests with exquisite views of the Holy City and Haram.
The property boasts spacious rooms, with its regular rooms larger than other hotels in the Holy City. All are adequately furnished with modern conveniences and serviced by some of the most professionally-trained hotel staff anywhere in the world. From the hotel, guests can comfortably travel to Haram via a shuttle service that runs several times during the day.
“It’s very fitting that our flagship brand, Marriott Hotels is seeing a rapid expansion in the Kingdom. The opening of a Marriott Hotel in Makkah is part of our commitment to fill a growing gap in the religious tourism sector in the region, which experts estimate will exponentially increase as the population of the Islamic faith grows. We are privileged to have opened our first-ever Marriott Hotel in this Holy City to serve millions of global pilgrims over the years to come,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President, Middle East & Africa of Marriott International.
During the annual pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah, a tradition that Muslims from all over the world need to fulfill at least once in their lifetime, sees millions of Muslims from across the globe converge in the Holy City. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) forecasts that domestic tourism will grow to a staggering 128 million trips and 640 million nights by 2019.
The company’s commitment to the Kingdom is deep-rooted with its 35-year old legacy in the region. Marriott International began its first operations in the Middle East region with the opening of the 411-room Riyadh Marriott Hotel in Saudi Arabia in 1980. In addition to help boosting religious tourism in the Kingdom with this milestone opening, Marriott International has set its sights on further strengthening its presence in the country with 19 new Saudi properties in the project pipeline.