IHG to open 4,200-room Voco hotel in Saudi Arabia

12 Jul 2019 by Jenni Reid
Voco Dubai

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) plans to open the biggest property yet under its new upmarket Voco brand.

The Voco Makkah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia is scheduled to open in early 2020.

With 4,200 rooms, it will be not just the biggest Voco but one of the biggest hotels in the world (though it is still a long way off the 7,351-room First World Hotel in Malaysia, which set the Guinness World Record for most rooms in 2015).

Voco Makkah will be located within the Maad Hospitality Towers Development, a huge mixed-used development that includes restaurants, lounge areas, event spaces and prayer halls.

Few details have been released about the hotel, but it will contain 20,000 sqm of dining and meeting facilities.

The site is within walking distance of the Masjid al-Haram, the mosque which millions visit for the Hajj pilgrimage each year.

The opening will take UK-based IHG’s portfolio in Saudi Arabia to over 19,500 rooms.

The Voco brand launched in 2018 and now includes properties in Cardiff, Oxford, Solihull and Dubai (pictured top), as well as Australia’s Gold Coast and Hunter Valley. More are signed in Bangkok, Sydney, Cairo and beyond.

Voco - an IHG Hotel

IHG has already signed a deal to convert Saudi Arabia’s Coral Hotel to Voco Al Khobar.

As a ‘soft’ brand, Voco allows hotels to retain a distinctive character, while common features include a welcome snack on arrival, social areas and yellow design details.

Pascal Gauvin, IHG’S managing director for India, the Middle East and Africa, commented: “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.

“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.”

IHG operates 92 hotels across seven brands in the Middle East, including Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Voco and Six Senses.

The group has been expanding its luxury and upmarket portfolio in recent years, launching Voco as well as acquiring the Kimpton, Six Senses and Regent Hotels brands.

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