Makkah is poised to become one of the world’s leading religious hospitality and tourism destinations as Saudi Arabia boosts tourism efforts and aims to enhance the Umrah and Hajj experience for pilgrims, according to industry experts.
The Holy City is expected to witness a growing hotel supply through 2018, according to Colliers International’s Q1 2016 Saudi Arabia Report, driven in part by a growing demand from affluent religious travellers for world-class service.
“The sacred city’s momentous historical sites, such as the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba, as well as significant pipeline projects in Islamic arts and culture, including the recently announced 5,600 square meter Makkah Museum, will offer visitors a host of rich experiences,” said Ismail Sirry, general manager of Conrad Makkah.
“The objective for the majority of travelers to Makkah is to take part in Umrah or Hajj, and because the Holy City receives millions of pilgrims every year, ease of access, convenience, safety, and comfort are top concerns for visitors. This is driving a transformation in Makkah’s tourism industry, one characterized by an overhaul of the traditional approach to hospitality,” Sirry added.
Figures from Saudi Vision 2030 show that in the last decade, the number of Umrah visitors entering the country from abroad tripled, reaching 8 million people. And with ambitious plans by to increase the number of Umrah pilgrims to 15 million by 2020, and 30 million by 2030, the Kingdom is focused on redefining tourism and hospitality in the Holy City.
“Developing intuitive services and a supportive infrastructure at both hotel and city levels is central to this effort,” says Sirry. “The biggest challenges visitors face in Makkah are related to access and capacity, but significant government projects, such as the expansion of the Grand Mosque, and the development of the Haramain High Speed Railway and the Makkah Mass Rail Transit System, will soon resolve many of these issues. However, that same seamless traveler experience then needs to be carried through at a hotel level.”
The recently launched Conrad Makkah is one of the few hotels in the Holy City to offer direct access to the Al Haram via 12 elevators to the religious site, enabling pilgrims to seamlessly reach the Sacred Mosque during peak prayer times. The hotel also offers an on-site Masjid for up to 1,000 guests with audio connection to Al-Haram.
Guests staying at the stunning 438-room facility can receive luxury service the moment they land at the airport, with a private car equipped with Wi-Fi, food, and refreshments, available upon request to transport them to the Holy City. Located in the Jabal Omar development, the hotel also offers private access via a route that is exclusive to guests staying in the district, circumventing roads congested by traffic, and enabling effortless access to and from the property.
The hotel’s full time Concierge will assist guests in planning a variety of local activities through the Conrad 1/3/5 programme, a curated collection of inspired experiences in art, shopping, adventure, and gastronomy, where guests can discover local culture from an insider’s perspective.
Guests booking a stay at the hotel can also utilize the popular Conrad Concierge mobile app, which gives global luxury travelers the ability to customize details of their hotel stay before, during, and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. Whether it’s pre-selecting bath amenities or checking-in while in-transit from the airport, guests can access a variety of features by using the app.
About Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Conrad Hotels & Resorts is the destination for the new generation of smart luxury travelers for whom life, business, and pleasure seamlessly intersect. Conrad offers its guests an innovative way to Stay Inspired through a curated collections of 1-hour, 3-hour, or 5-hour experiences, available through www.stayinspired.com or through the intuitive Conrad Concierge mobile app. Consisting of 24 properties across five continents, Conrad is part of Hilton Worldwide, a leading global hospitality company.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, comprising more than 4,660 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties with nearly 765,000 rooms in 102 countries and territories. For 96 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of 13 world-class global brands includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including preferred pricing, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key.