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Fri 10 Jul 2015 09:11 AM

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Marriott opens first flagship brand hotel in Saudi holy city

Hotel giant announces opening of 426-room Makkah Marriott Hotel; eyes 19 more properties in Gulf kingdom

Marriott opens first flagship brand hotel in Saudi holy city

Marriott International has announced the opening of the Makkah Marriott Hotel, the company’s first flagship brand in the holy city.

The 426-room property sits on the hill top of Makkah, providing guests with views of the Holy City and Haram.

Marriott said in a statement that 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.

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 a128 million trips and 640 million nights by 2019.

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.

The company has set its sights on further strengthening its presence in the country with 19 new Saudi properties in the project pipeline.

Signature features at the newly opened property include the Greatroom lobby and mobile check-in and check-out facility.

The reimagined Greatroom is part of Marriott Hotels brand initiative to transform lobbies from a formal living room into a local destination where guests spend time, by themselves or with people that matter, to relax and socialise.

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