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Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts moves to Makkah

Swiss hotel chain set to open a 1200-unit new hotel in Saudi Arabia’s Holy City in 2007

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts continues its energetic expansion plans across the Middle East with the signing of a management contract for a 1200-key property in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

The Swiss hotel chain has signed with Kuwait-based Hajar Real Estate Company to manage a five-star hotel at the Abraj Al-Bait complex, located directly in front of the mosque with views of the holy shrine, Al Kaabah al Musharafah. The hotel will open in 2007.

“The new hotel in Makkah will complement our strong presence in both Jeddah and Madinah. Visitors on their annual Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage will now enjoy Mövenpick’s trademark Swiss hospitality in both holy cities under the same brand,” said Andreas Mattmuller, senior vice president Middle East, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.

The Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah will offer 410 rooms and suites. All rooms will have wireless internet capabilities and will be fitted with LCD televisions. The hotel will also have one main restaurant with a capacity of 800 guests and three offer private lounges for 40 to 140 guests.

The complex will also house 882 fully furnished one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences for individual investment. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will manage the residences under a rental pool system similar to the European timeshare model. “The concept enables investors to lease a fully fitted and furnished residence that may be used free of charge for a certain period yearly. Profits from the residence rental will then be distributed to individual lease holders in the rental pool,” explained Musaed Al Saber, deputy general manager, Hajar Real Estate Company K.S.C.C.

The Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Hajar Tower Makkah will be the sixth Mövenpick property within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after Jeddah (two hotels), Madinah (two hotels) and Al Khobar (opening in 2007).

Further Mövenpick expansion plans include five additional hotels in Dubai, as well as openings in Palestine and Qatar. The Swiss hotel chain set out to double its portfolio of properties in 1999, when it operated 35 hotels and 7,400 rooms. The company looks well on track to achieve this, and by the end of 2007 its portfolio will comprise a total of 73 hotels and more than 19,000 rooms.

In Dubai alone, seven Mövenpick Hotels are to be completed over the next two years. The Dubai properties include the 716-room Mövenpick Resort Oceana — The Palm Jumeirah; the 375-room Mövenpick Hotel & Residence Deira; 294-room Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach and the 465-room Ibn Battuta Mövenpick Hotel.

Over that same period three other hotels are scheduled for completion in El Obour, Egypt; Doha, Qatar; and Al Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Swiss chain celebrated the opening of its Sana’a property in Yemen earlier this year.
Exisiting Mövenpick properties are also expanding, in the wake of increased demand. This year, the Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna, Egypt, added 115 new rooms and suites, as well as new spa and wellness facilities. At the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Jordan, an extensive expansion of the facilities is also in progress.

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