IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, is continuing to expand its footprint across Saudi Arabia with the signing of voco Makkah in partnership with Maad International, among the Kingdom’s largest hospitality real estate development companies. The property will be the largest voco in the world, when operational in early 2020, and it will cater to the growing number of religious tourists in KSA. The 4,200-room hotel will take IHG’s portfolio in the country to over 19,500 rooms, solidifying IHG’s position as one of the largest hospitality players in Saudi Arabia.
voco Makkah will occupy a premium location within the greater Maad Hospitality Towers Development, a mega mixed-used development that includes restaurants, lounge areas, event halls and separate male and female prayer halls. Situated in one of the most sought-after locations in the Holy City, the new hotel is within walking distance of Masjid Al Haram, and it will provide an ideal base for pilgrims along with an exceptional guest experience including over 20,000 sqm of dining and meeting facilities.
voco, IHG’s upscale brand combines the informality and charm of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The brand allows guests to enjoy an upscale experience with the freshness of a unique, independent hotel under a name they can trust. Since being launched globally just over a year ago, voco has enjoyed rapid growth with multiple signings across the Middle East. After the signing of voco Al Khobar earlier this year, voco Makkah will be the second voco branded hotel in Saudi Arabia. voco Makkah will also be IHG’s fourth hotel in Makkah.
Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG said, “We are honoured to enter into this agreement with Maad International, which is one of the most renowned hospitality development companies in the Kingdom. They have a unique vision not only for the hotel sector but also for Saudi Arabia as a sought-after destination. We are also proud to add this landmark property to our longstanding portfolio in KSA. Having opened our first hotel InterContinental Riyadh in 1975, we have gained significant experience and expertise in running successful operations in KSA, and particularly in Makkah.”
He added: “Religious tourism is expected to increase further year on year to gradually reach 30 million visitors by 2030. We look forward to catering to the influx of pilgrims at voco Makkah, which will provide a welcoming, comfortable and a reliably different experience during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.”
Mr. Abdulaziz Al Yamani, Chairman, Maad International added: “We are excited to be partnering with IHG for this landmark property. IHG possesses global expertise and a deep understanding of Saudi Arabia’s culture and business environment, ensuring that this will be a mutually beneficial partnership. We look forward to welcoming our guests when we open our doors, and we are confident that together with IHG we will offer pilgrims visiting Makkah a unique experience. Our confidence stems from our government leaders’ broader strategy to bolster tourism, among other sectors in line with Vision 2030; and our nation’s commitment towards diversifying the country’s economy and creating attractive investment opportunities for the private sector. In terms of job creation, the overall Maad Hospitality Towers Development, when completed, would offer in excess of 4,000 jobs to Saudi youth.”
Dr. Mohammed Al-Jared, CEO, Maad International added: “We have designed and developed one of Saudi Arabia’s most efficient, upscale properties and inviting IHG to partner with us was a natural choice given the quality standards we have applied. This signing is aligned with our commitment to develop extraordinary properties serving religious tourists and guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Maad Hospitality Towers is destined to be one of the most prominent locations for pilgrims and we are confident that voco Makkah will be a popular choice given its compelling brand promise and strategic location.”
IHG currently operates 92 hotels across 7 brands in the Middle East, including: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, voco and Six Senses with a further 38 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.**