Makkah in Saudi Arabia is one of the hottest spots in terms of a prime development location. With millions of worshipers every year and a high demand for hotels in close proximity of the Kabah, it is great for business. Prices during the holy months such as Ramadan and Hajj can cost up to £3,000 per night! So no wonder it is the honey pot for hotel developments. Currently Makkah and the holy Kabah look and feel like a construction side but soon when it’s done it will look amazing.
Of course Arabs love competing on the biggest and tallest buildings in the world. To be honest I won’t judge on this since Makkah is all rocks and such a small place surrounded by mountains I only see the upwards options for hotel building. This of course for many of us seems like a great opportunity since we will have more options to earn and redeem points in Makkah. Yay!
With pretty much all the hotels currently being built and operated by international brands it is an excellent opportunity for us who collect and redeem points. I have said it before that one of the best redemption opportunities I have ever had was in Makkah. I paid 30,000 hilton points for a room that costs £500/$800 per night! You can’t go much better than that.
So I decided to check out all the properties that are being built and see how we can maximise this opportunity to start collecting points for redemptions in our Holy city.
Hilton (Opening 7th June)
No surprise there. Hilton already has 3 properties in Makkah; Hilton Towers and Hilton Makkah which I have reviewed, and Hilton Suites. Hilton Towers and Hotel are approximately one minute from the Haram and for Hilton Suites you need to cross a street and you are in the courtyard. Some of these properties will be part of the Jab Al Omar development which will host restaurants, health clubs, a mall and of course various hotels. It is several towers and close to the Haram. Actually the Hilton Suites are part of the same development. I have been trying to find out the categories of these hotels online but it was not possible. Once all properties are open Hilton will have 5,000 rooms in Makkah.
- Conrad hotel in Makkah this September part of the Jabal Omar development and will have 496 rooms
- Hilton Bab Makkah North is another hotel scheduled to open in 2016 with 865 rooms in total
- Hilton Bab Makkah South is a sister property of the North Hilton and it will open in 2016
- Double Tree Hilton Makkah, my favourite ‘cookie’ hotel will open in 2016 with 806 rooms as part of the Jabal Omar development.
- Hilton Makkah Convention Hotel is support to open in 2015 and it will have 566 rooms part of the same development
Hyatt – (Now Open read my review here)
Hyatt is another brand that I love and I am so happy they finally opened their property in Makkah. I can’t wait to review it during my next Umrah in sha Allah (God willing). The hotel was scheduled to open in July 2015 however due to Ramadan they opened a month earlier even though the hotel is still being developed. When I first saw their opening day I really thought it was not very business like to miss one of the most busy periods of the year.
- Hyatt Regency Makkah opened June 2015 it has 628 rooms as well as segregated gyms, restaurants and a club lounge. It costs 15,000 points per night. Currently room prices for Ramadan 2015 are £500+ per night.
- Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites Makkah were slated for 2014 but I couldn’t find any information online for their current completion dates.
Currently there is only one IHG property in Makkah which is the Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhid. This hotel is extremely convenient as it’s literally in the courtyard of the Haram. Prices for this properties are very high especially in peak season with some rooms costing up to £1,000 per night and points redemption is 35,000 per night. Bargain! Though they are tricky since they remove any rewards point availability in Ramadan.
- Holiday Inn Aziziah will open in the second quester of 2016 and will have 1,238 rooms and suites and it will be located 3.5km from the Haram. So I assume free transportation will be provided to the mosque. I also can’t seem to be able to find the property category.
Best Western is opening a property in Makkah with tentative day in December 2015, so it will be available in the next Umrah season. It is also worth noting that if you hold status with other hotel brands Best Western are happy to status match you, which means that you can do this before your stay for extra perks.
- Best Western Premier hotel will have 650 rooms and it will be close to the Haram. I can’t find the category of this property but I think we will know closer to the date.
Marriott Hotels (Now Open)
Marriott is a brand I should pay more attention to since it will have two new properties in Makkah and some of them sound very interesting.
- Currently Marriott has a property in Makkah though it is not next to the Haram but 3km away and it is reachable by a complimentary bus service. The property costs 20,000 points per night for a redemption.
- JW Marriott is the luxury brand of Marriott which is scheduled to open in 2016 and will have direct access to the courtyard of the Haram. It will have 600 plus rooms with about a third of them being suites and junior suites. It will also have restaurants and a lounge.
Starwood hotels currently have two properties in Makkah. The Le Meridien which is a walking distance to the Haram and the Le Meridien Towers which is approximately 3km away. The Le Meridien towers cost 7,000 points per night and the Le Meridien costs 10,000 points per night. SPG are looking to develop three new properties in Makkah by 2019. I could not find any information for the categories of the new hotels yet since it is still be too early. Though these seem like a nice addition to the Makkah hotels. Especially since the Le Meridien does need some refurbishment.
- Sheraton Makkah which is to open in September 2016 in the Jabal Omar development close to the Haram will have 532 rooms, restaurants and a club lounge.
- The Westin Makkah will be opening in September 2016 with 532 rooms again in the Jabal Omar development. It will have rooms, suites and serviced apartments which I think is great for families.
- Four Points by Sheraton will open in 2019 will have 496 rooms and suites and it is again in the Jabal Omar development.
Of course let’s not forget the largest hotel in the world the Abraj Judai is also scheduled to build in Makkah and is slated for completion in 2017. It will have a massive 10,000 rooms and suites in five towers with five and four star luxury hotels plus 70 restaurants. It will also have multiple helipads, if you want to arrive in style for your Umrah. This property will not be within walking distance to the Haram as it is 2km away in Manafia area. Currently the largest property is the Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas with 7,000 rooms. I am really looking forward to this “monster hotel”.
I hope it gives you a good indication of what your travel strategy can be for the next 1-2 years in order to accumulate some points and spend them in Makkah. I will be writing a separate article on what you can do to make this a reality sooner. I am definitely excited and I can see myself hotel hopping in Makkah just so I can try as many brands as possible.
Overall there are so many opportunities for redemption and luxury in Makkah that it is crazy. I wish these properties lower their prices as the competition will be great so then more people can stay in them and experience a 5* Umrah.
P.S I found a video of the Jabal Omar development which looks pretty awesome. You can check it here