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Saudi Arabia Plans to Add 320,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030 to Meet Growing Demand
Saudi Arabia Plans to Add 320000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030 to Meet Growing Demand

Saudi Arabia is planning to add 320,000 new hotel rooms by 2030 to support its tourism surge, aligning with Vision 2030 goals. 

To meet this demand, investments totaling $104 billion will be required, with $70 billion alone required to build 221,000 hotel rooms in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah to meet the rising demand for religious tourism. 

With an anticipated 150 million visitors by 2030, the expansion focuses on the luxury and upscale categories to elevate the hospitality experience.

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The Vision 2030 Strategy

Image Credit Vision 2030

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is a strategic framework designed to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop various sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, tourism, and the hospitality industry.

Image Credit Emirate of Madinah Province Twitter

A critical component of this vision is the exponential growth in the hospitality sector, with the addition of 320,000 new hotel rooms by 2030. 

According to a recent report by global property consultancy Knight Frank, this expansion aims to accommodate the anticipated influx of 150 million domestic and international tourists annually by the end of the decade.

Additionally, there will be changes in the competitive environment for hotel operators by 2030. While Accor currently holds the title of the largest operator in Saudi Arabia in terms of room count, which is 25,400, Marriott International will surpass them with 26,200 rooms.

Investment Needed for the Expansion

Image Credit Knight Frank

The massive expansion planned in the hospitality sector requires substantial investment. Knight Frank’s calculations indicate that approximately $104 billion will be needed for building costs to realize the 320,000 hotel rooms countrywide. 

A significant $70 billion is dedicated to constructing 221,000 hotel rooms in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Medinah.

These figures underscore the Kingdom’s dedication to developing its hospitality sector and meeting the rising demand for accommodation, particularly for religious tourists.

The Drive towards Luxury and Upscale Accommodation

Image Credit Hyatt Corporation

In alignment with the Vision 2030 goals, the planned hotel room supply is expected to cater to the luxury and upscale market. 

Knight Frank’s analysis reveals that approximately 67% of the new hotel rooms will fall into this category, referring specifically to 4-star and 5-star accommodations.

This focus on luxury and upscale categories demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s commitment to enhancing the hospitality landscape and providing high-quality accommodation options that meet the expectations of global travelers.

The Holy Cities: A Hub for Religious Tourism

The Holy Cities of Makkah and Medinah hold a special place in the heart of the Muslim community worldwide. Under the Vision 2030 strategy, an estimated 221,000 new hotel rooms are planned across these two cities.

Image Credit Rua Al Madinah

This initiative caters to the expected surge in religious tourism. The government anticipates that 30 million religious tourists will visit the holy cities annually by 2025, projected to rise to 50 million visitors by 2030.

Planned Hotel Developments in Holy Cities

Rua Al Madinah

Image Credit Rua Al Madinah

The Rua Al Madinah project, launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in August 2022, spans 1.5 million square meters, with 63 percent dedicated to open and green spaces. The project will offer 47,000 hotel rooms.

This project is expected to contribute $37.3 million (SAR140 million) to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product upon completion. 

Image Credit Rua Al Madinah

Moreover, it is expected to create 93,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, allowing recruitment throughout the construction and development phase until 2030.

From luxury accommodations to world-class restaurants and entertainment options, the Rua Al Madinah project aims to redefine hospitality standards, marking a benchmark for excellence in the industry.

Planned Hotels in Rua Al Madinah

Accor Hotels

Image Credit Rua Al Madinah

Accor, a major player in the hospitality industry worldwide, has revealed its intentions to establish three establishments in the new development project of Rua Al Madinah Holding Company located in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. These properties will consist of

  • 142-key Fairmont hotel
  • 120-key Fairmont Branded Residences
  • 466-key Swissôtel and a 328-key Novotel

Marriott Hotels

Image Credit Rua Al Madinah

Rua Al Madinah Holding and Marriott International have reached an agreement to oversee the management of eight hotels within the master plan. This partnership is anticipated to result in 4,400 new rooms and generate 4,100 employment opportunities in Rua Al Madinah. 

The eight properties in the works comprise:

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Rua Al Madinah with 151 keys
  • JW Marriott Rua Al Madinah with 252 keys
  • Madinah Marriott Hotel Rua Al Madinah with 450 keys
  • Le Méridien Rua Al Madinah with 533 keys
  • The Westin Rua Al Madinah with 361 keys
  • Four Points by Sheraton Rua Al Madinah with 777 key
  • Aloft Rua Al Madinah and Courtyard by Marriott Rua Al Madinah with a combined 1,810 keys.

Masar Makkah Destination

Image Credit Umm Al Qura

The hotel landscape in Makkah is about to undergo a significant transformation with a massive investment of $666.6 million into the highly anticipated Masar Destination

The Masar Destination, owned by Umm Al-Qura for Development and Construction Co., has partnered with the General Authority of Awqaf to bring over 1,000 new upscale hotel rooms to the sacred city of Makkah.

Image Credit Masar Destination

The centerpiece of this project is the Residential Towers, which showcase the ambitious vision of Masar Destination.

In September 2023, Umm Al-Qura announced a collaboration with Scope Properties to construct Residential Towers in Makkah, a project worth $240 Million (SAR900 million).

Jabal Omar Development

The Jabal Omar Development Project, an 8 Billion SAR project, is a one-of-a-kind initiative focused on revitalizing the urban area to offer high-quality lodging and facilitate religious, social, and business amenities and resources for both tourists and inhabitants of the sacred city of Makkah Al-Mukarramah.

By 2030, Jabal Omar Development Company plans to run 15 hotels across 230,000 square meters aread. These hotels will offer a direct view of Al Masjid Al Haram, providing guests with a convenient and spiritually enriching experience.

Jumeirah Jabal Omar Hotel

Image Credit Jumeirah International

The Jumeirah Jabal Omar Hotel in the Holy City of Makkah, the first hotel in Saudi Arabia by the Jumeirah Hotel group from Dubai, has been officially announced to be open. 

Image Credit Jumeirah International

Located in the second phase of the Jabal Omar development, the hotel is positioned in the heart of Jabal Omar near the Grand Mosque, Al Masjid Al Haram

Image Credit Jumeirah International

Featuring more than 1000 rooms and suites, some offering direct views of the haram, the hotel strives to offer extraordinary experiences to pilgrims on their Hajj and Umrah journeys.

Address Hotel Jabal Omar

Image Credit Jabal Omar Development Company

The 5-star Address Jabal Omar Makkah hotel provides a luxurious stay, dining options, and other amenities, making it a spiritual sanctuary in the center of Makkah. Just 1640 feet away from Masjid Al Haram, the hotel offers a fitness center, private parking, a shared lounge, and a restaurant for its guests.

Image Credit Jabal Omar Development Company

The 5-star Address Hotel in Jabal Omar Makkah has also revealed Sky Musallah, the highest prayer room in the world located within a sky bridge

Standing at an impressive 483 meters above sea level, it has earned a Guinness World Record. The Sky Musallah offers stunning panoramic views of Al Masjid Al Haram, The Holy Kaaba, and Makkah City. 

The sky bridge connects the two twin towers of The Address Jabal Omar Hotel, spanning the 36th to 38th floors, and has a capacity of 520 people. It is a remarkable lookout point for guests staying at this iconic and centrally located hotel in Makkah.

Renowned Hotels in Jabal Omar Makkah

Voco Makkah

Image Credit Voco Makkah

To provide for religious travelers’ needs during the Hajj or Umrah seasons, IHG Hotels & Resorts has launched its premium Voco brand in Makkah. Voco Makkah is the third Voco property in Saudi Arabia and the largest globally, with 4,321 keys.

Thakker Makkah City

Image Credit Thakher Makkah

The Thakher project, a $7 Billion project, boasts a team of top-tier urban planners and designers, transforming the rugged hills of the Holy City into a highly accessible, diverse, and hospitable destination, which aims to host 30 million Umrah performers and six million pilgrims by 2030

Image Credit Thakher Makkah

Spanning 320,000 square meters and situated just 1km from Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, the completed Thakher Makkah will feature approximately 100 land plots designated for hotels, residences, commercial spaces, and service-related establishments. 

Image Credit Thakher Makkah

The Thakher Makkah development features a range of renowned global hotels, such as the Radisson Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson, and the Novotel Hotel.

The project will include a capacity of 10,000 car parking spaces and a mosque that can hold 5,000 people for prayer. 

Luxury Hotels in NEOM and Red Sea Giga Projects

Image Credit NEOM

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious NEOM and Red Sea Giga Project are also setting the stage for a new era in hospitality with a selection of new upcoming luxury hotels due to open their doors soon.

New NEOM hotels announced includes:

Image Credit Red Sea Global

New Red Sea hotels announced includes:

New Luxury Hotels Planned for Diriyah

Image Credit Diriyah Company

Diriyah, a $63 Billion Giga project, located outside Riyadh, will feature 38 hotels upon completion, making it the city’s luxury hospitality center. These include

  • Ritz-Carlton hotel
  • Marriott’s The Luxury Collection
  • Anantara
  • Corinthia
  • EDITION
  • Faena
  • The Chedi
  • Hyatt Place
  • Montage Hotels & Resorts
  • Moxy
  • 1 Hotels
  • Pendry Hotels & Resorts
  • Radisson RED
  • Taj
  • The Langham
  • treehouse Hotels
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Well Health Retreat
  • Armani Hotel
  • Four Seasons
  • Park Hyatt
  • Raffles
  • Address Hotels + Resorts
  • Baccarat Hotels & Resorts
  • Campbell Gray Hotels and Resorts
  • Orient Express
  • Rosewood
  • Oberoi
  • Six Senses

Embracing Cultural and Entertainment Offerings

Besides developing the hospitality sector, Saudi Arabia actively explores various strategies to attract international travelers. These strategies include the development of cultural and entertainment offerings nationwide to complement existing attractions.

The successful proposition of the Kingdom to hold the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh is predicted to attract 40 million attendees over the course of six months, contributing $94.6 billion to the Saudi economy.

Image Credit UFC

Exciting events such as the First UFC Event, 5 Vs 5 Riyadh Season Bout, World’s First WWE Experience in Boulevard City, and numerous other Entertainment Seasons are part of this strategy. 

Furthermore, theme parks like Dragon Ball Theme Park are being developed, alongside the licensing of 24 additional theme parks by the Saudi General Entertainment Authority over the past year.

Upcoming Entertainment Projects in Saudi Arabia

The Qiddiya City Project

Image credit Qiddiya

The development of Qiddiya City, a project aimed at creating a Global Entertainment and Sports Hub in the Kingdom, has been awarded contracts worth more than $2.6 billion. 

The Qiddiya city, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, is expected to have 60,000 buildings, including golf courses, stadiums, and the Six Flags Qiddiya Theme Park.

Its goal is to attract 40 million tourists annually and contribute $36 billion to the GDP. The city aims to have approximately 48 million visitors per year, with a gaming and e-sports district that will serve as a global competition hub. 

Dragon Balls Theme Park

Image Credit Qiddiya

Saudi Arabia revealed plans for a groundbreaking Dragon Balls Themed Park, set to be built in the Qiddiya Entertainment City. 

Covering an area of 500,000 square meters, the park will consist of seven unique zones and offer 30 themed attractions, including a 70 meter tall dragon roller coaster as its main centerpiece.

Visitors can also expect to find hotels and restaurants with a Dragon Ball theme, inspired by the popular Japanese anime franchise.

This project, located just 40 km away from Riyadh, is part of the larger development at Qiddiya City, aimed at establishing Saudi Arabia as a top global destination for entertainment.

Qiddiya Speed Park Track

Image Credit Qiddiya

The Qiddiya Investment Company has unveiled plans for Qiddiya City’s newest attraction, the Speed Park Track, set to establish itself as a premier venue for Saudi Motorsport and a prominent global destination. 

Crafted by experienced race drivers, including renowned former Austrian Formula One racer Alex Wurz, the track boasts a thrilling layout encompassing 21 turns and an impressive elevation gain of 108 meters per lap, weaving through Qiddiya’s breathtaking mountainous terrain. 

Against the backdrop of the world’s tallest rollercoaster at Six Flags Qiddiya City and a vibrant water theme park, drivers will navigate the Speed Park Track, offering an exhilarating experience amidst various entertainment options.

THE RIG

Image Credit THE RIG

Saudi Arabia has announced that THE RIG, a groundbreaking oil rig-inspired mega theme park, is to be located 40 kilometers off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.

Inspired by the country’s rich oil and gas heritage, the theme park is due to feature 3 hotels, 11 restaurants, helipads, a diving center, and an extreme sports adventure park.

The project is being developed by the Oil Park Development Company, funded by the Public Development Fund, and is anticipated to cost $5 billion.

Seven’s Entertainment Destination

Image Credit Rua Al Madinah

Saudi Entertainment Ventures Seven has revealed its plans to build a 1.3 Billion Riyal entertainment destination in Al Madinah. This new destination will be a hub of fun, excitement, and top-notch attractions, aiming to enhance the lives of the city’s inhabitants. 

The project is due to cover an area of over 100,000 square meters, with a built-up area of 84,000 square meters. The park will feature beautiful paths seamlessly blending with the planned open paths and gardens in the destination.

An Unforgettable Experience for Visitors

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to add 320,000 new hotel rooms by 2030 highlights its commitment to transforming its hospitality sector and boosting tourism. 

With significant investments, a focus on luxury and upscale accommodation, and exciting cultural and entertainment offerings, the Kingdom is poised to offer visitors a unique and unforgettable experience worldwide.

Keep Reading: High Net Worth Muslims Ready to Spend $2 Billion In Real Estate Investments in Holy Cities

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