RIYADH: A development in the heart of Makkah is set to have 24,000 hotel rooms, its CEO has confirmed.
In an interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, Yasser Abuatek — head of Umm Al Qura For Development and Construction — said ‘Masar Destination’ is already more than 90 percent complete in terms of infrastructure.
He was speaking a day after Masar closed a $2 billion deal during the sixth edition of the FII forum to build seven towers, including 1,400 hotel rooms.
“By the time we finish, we will have 24,000 hotel rooms and 13,000 residential units,” he said.
The investment in the destination is SR100 billion ($26,6 billion), and is set to host 158,000 visitors annually.
Pointing to transportation at the destination, Abuatek said there are various options such as the bus, walking, and tunnels for the metro station.
“To complete all these, we're looking for what is the best possible way for someone who wants to move from a certain point to the holy mosque. Walking is the number one choice but not everybody can walk. We’re still studying the experience, and we're going to design the suitable solution for all people,” he said.
In terms of tourism and services, Abuatek explained that the development will include an Islamic Art Museum.
“That will bring all the art Islamic art, we will share it with all the visitors, bringing culture and more things to see in Makkah — to learn about history,” he said.
Abuatek highlighted that Masar Destination has prime sustainability targets and Umm Al Qura for Development and Construction is working with a developmental vision to elevate the urban and investment landscape of Makkah through establishing new avenues to help improve the quality of life for residents, pilgrims and visitors.