JEDDAH: The Saudi city of Makkah is about to see the largest hotel in the world with 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, shopping centres and helipads.
The project valued at $3.5 billion will be ready in two years – by 2017.
Covering an area of 686,000 square feet, Abraj Kudai will also have royal suites, prayer halls and a convention center — all in 12 separate towers.
The focal point, however, will be the central dome, expected to be one of the largest and tallest in the world.
As the site of the hotel is only about a mile from the Masjid-e-Haram, it is expected to host many of the millions of pilgrims.
However, guests may need a robust bank account to book a room as the target will be high-end customers — who can afford four-star luxury in 10 towers and five-star hotels in two.
As for the architecture, the Abraj Kudai looks like a semi-futuristic, sand-colored, desert version of a 1930s Manhattan high-rise.
It is being created by multinational design group Dar al-Handasah.
2016 Update: Abraj Kudai developers may have trouble completing it on schedule by 2017, according to Forbes Middle East. A potential ripple effect on the Saudi economy, caused by low oil prices last year, may to be blame, according to Gulf Business.
Inside, London-based Areen Hospitality has been given the task of decorating the vast area.
Currently, Las Vegas is home to the world’s largest hotel in terms of the number of guest rooms.
The MGM Grand has a record 6,198 rooms, according to hotel industry research firm STR Inc.
Here are the top five hotels in the world by room count, according to STR:
1. MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas: 6,198 rooms
2. First World Hotel, Malaysia: 6,118 rooms
3. Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas: 4,400 rooms
4. Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas: 4,332 rooms
5. The Venetian, Las Vegas: 4,049 rooms
Sources: CNN, Arab News, The Mail
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