|11 July, 2019

IHG to open world’s largest voco hotel in Saudi Arabia

The property will be the largest voco in the world, when operational in early 2020

IHG signs world's largest voco with Maad International in Saudi Arabia

IHG signs world's largest voco with Maad International in Saudi Arabia

IHG / Handout via Zawya

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is continuing to expand its footprint across Saudi Arabia with the signing of voco Makkah, in partnership with Maad International, one of 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 Saudi Arabia.

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-use 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.

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 Saudi Arabia. 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.”

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.”

Dr Mohammed Al-Jared, CEO, Maad International added: “This signing is aligned with our commitment to developing 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 seven 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. - TradeArabia News Service

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