Makkah is a city known to every Muslim in the world as the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad who founded Islam. It’s only open to Muslim travellers, all of whom aspire to one day make the pilgrimage to the holy city.
The journey is an act of worship and devotion and it is estimated that around 15 million Muslims visit Makkah every year, including several million during Hajj alone, the ultimate Islamic pilgrimage for Muslims. Although it is already one of the world’s most visited cities, numbers are expected to double to 30 million by 2030.
Hajj usually happens during Dhu al Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, and it is truly a sight to behold, as hundreds of thousands of Muslims, all dressed alike in traditional attire, gather together in solidarity to perform a series of sacred rituals. This includes walking around the Ka’aba, a sacred building, seven times, and standing vigil on the plains of Mount Arafat.
Makkah has received a great deal of attention in recent years with the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund making tremendous investments to upgrade the infrastructure in the holy city and better cater to the huge volumes of visitors.
New projects include an area that will span 854,000 square meters, delivering 115 buildings of various architectural designs. The development includes 70,000 new hotel rooms that can handle 310,000 visitors per day, 9,000 residential units, 360,000 square metres of commercial space and prayer areas for more than 400,000 worshipers.
Included in upcoming plans is the property, Jabal Omar Address Makkah, a luxury flagship property from Jabal Omar Development Company, managed by Emaar Hospitality Group. Even though it’s the first Address Hotels + Resorts managed property to open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the brand is well known throughout the region thanks to its signature Dubai properties. These are synonymous with high standards of luxury and service and will be a welcome addition to premium hotel stays available in Makkah.
Jabal Omar Address Makkah will have a desirable location, just a few steps away from the Grand Mosque, making it the perfect luxury option for Hajj travellers. Jabal Omar covers a built up area of about two million square metres, and Jabal Omar Address Makkah will offer 1,490 hotel rooms in a vibrant neighbourhood that already boasts residences, malls and prayer areas. It will also add to Saudi Arabia’s already impressive-skyline with two elegantly designed identical towers, set to be the tallest in the Jabal Omar area, connected by an interlinking bridge.
The property will also be a great way for discerning Muslim travellers from all over the world to be introduced to the Address Hotels + Resorts brand, which has ambitious international expansion plans. Religious tourism is booming globally and in Saudi Arabia it will become the gateway to experience more of what the Kingdom has to offer now it is opening its doors wider to tourism.
Ali M. is a business writer who specialises in Middle Eastern travel trends