Meridien set for Makkah


The hotel group Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening this autumn of a 231-room property in the heart of the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

This will be the third property for the luxury hotel group in the Kingdom, which has long been identified as an area for major development over the next two years.
The group already manages the 329-room Le Gulf Meridien Al Khobar and the 284-room Le Jeddah Meridien.
The 20-storey Le Majd Meridien Makkah overlooks the plaza at Al Masjid Al Ahram and the Holy Kaaba, the destination of pilgrims from around the world, and its central location is expected to be a major attraction when it opens in October.
The hotel, owned by Saudi Amjad Holding Ltd, is located just 100 metres away from the Holy Mosque, and each room has a view of the focus of the pilgrimages.
Sheikh Abdul Wahed Al Obaid, the owning company’s president, said: “The hotel is perfectly situated to accommodate the large numbers of visitors to the Holy Mosque and surrounding area, and interest in the property is already very high well in advance of its October opening.
“We are delighted that Le Meridien has the management contract, as the group has already shown that it has an excellent grasp of the Saudi marketplace thanks to their experience gained from their two existing properties.”
Sami Zoghbi, managing director of Le Meridien Middle East and West Asia, said that Saudi Arabia had huge potential for growth. “We expect to announce a number of new properties in Saudi Arabia within the next 12 months and are well on course to double the number of properties in the Kingdom by the end of next year.”
Accommodation at Le Majd Meridien Makkah comprises 86 king-size rooms, 70 twins, 47 singles, 24 suites and two Diplomatic and two Royal Suites, all complete with satellite television, minibars, tea/coffee makers and air-conditioning.
Other facilities include a fully-equipped health club and meetings rooms and business centre and two lounges and four restaurants, with both Far Eastern and Arabia speciality outlets.
General manager Abdul Kader Hankir said he expected the hotel would attract pilgrims from around the world. He said: “Our location is as good as anything in the Holy City, and with Le Meridien branding, visitors know they will received international standards and facilities during their stay here,” he said.
The new opening is part of Le Meridien’s rapid expansion programme in the Middle East and West Asia region — and has a target of 40 city and resort hotels by the end of 2004.