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Tue 6 May 2008 12:23 PM

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Fairmont to tap Saudi tourists

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has announced a new hotel and residences at the holy site of Mekkah in Saudi Arabia.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has announced a new hotel and residences at the holy site of Mekkah in Saudi Arabia.

Set to be one of the kingdom's tallest buildings, the hotel will open in September and will cater towards the kingdom's growing tourism industry.

The Makkah Clock Royal Tower, so-called because of the giant 40m clock at the top of the building to indicate Muslim prayer times up to 17km away, will house 1,005 guestrooms and suites as well as 600 plus residential units.

"It is quite a significant and iconic asset," Thomas Storey, president of Fairmont told
Arabian Business

. "[This project] will position Fairmont as a truly global brand. We are very excited," he added.

The hotel is a joint venture with one of the largest development and construction firms in the world, the Saudi Binladin Company (SBC).

Both the residences and hotel will be located within the Abraj Al Bait Complex, part of the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project, a seven tower project, adjacent to the Masjid al Haram, the holiest site in Islam.

The hotel will house 76 elevators during high occupancy periods and calls to prayer.

The announcement of the hotel at the holy site comes just a day after His Royal Highness, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, chairman of the board and secretary general of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) outlined the strategic plan for tourism development in the kingdom.

Every year more than two million Muslims visit the city on the annual Hajj.

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