In a major milestone, The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), the hospitality company in South Asia, recently announced its foray into the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, with a partnership with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in the prestigious King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project, one of the largest urban rejuvenation projects in the city of Makkah.
Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer, IHCL said, “We are honoured to partner with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in bringing the first Taj hotel to Saudi Arabia. This signing is aligned to our strategy of a strong focus on global growth markets and to be present where our guests travel to. We are committed to expanding our presence in the MENA region.”
This hotel will be IHCL’s fourth venture in the MENA region. The company manages Taj Dubai located in the Burj Khalifa downtown area. It will also open another two hotels in Dubai in the next twelve to eighteen months. The proposed hotel is conveniently situated within walking distance of the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram), the main attraction for over six million pilgrims who visit the city each year. It will also be in close proximity to commercial offices, retail stores and restaurants within KAAR project. The hotel, scheduled to open in January 2023, will have approximately 340 keys, banqueting facilities and several restaurants to serve all tastes.
Commenting on the partnership, Eng Mohammad Al Ganawi, chief executive officer, Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company said, “We are delighted to partner with The Indian Hotels Company. We look forward to working with them to bring the iconic Taj brand to the unique development project in Makkah.”
As the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the site of his first revelation of the Quran, Makkah is the holiest city in the religion of Islam.