Jumeirah Jamal Omar Makkah opens with 507 guest rooms and suites across two high-rise towers. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Holding-backed Jumeirah Group announced on Tuesday the opening of its first hotel in Saudi Arabia – the Jumeirah Jamal Omar Makkah. Designed by Foster + Partners architects, the hotel has commenced operations as part of the second phase of the city’s flagship Jabal Omar project.

Located in Jabal Omar and a short walk from the Great Mosque of Makkah, the hotel includes 1,121 (keys) elegantly designed rooms, suites, and residences. The hotel opens with 507 guest rooms and suites across two high-rise towers with views over the city and the Great Mosque of Makkah. A further 526 rooms and suites will be added in phases across two more contemporary towers. Hotel guests will also have the option to book entire floors, which feature 14 rooms and suites per level.

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The hotel also hosts 88 residences, which sit across the podium of the four Jumeirah Jabal Omar Makkah towers, the hotel group said in a statement.

Katerina Giannouka, Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group, said, “We are proud to have opened the first Jumeirah hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in such a significant location, in partnership with Jabal Omar Development Company.”

Katerina added, “Jumeirah Jabal Omar Makkah will deliver the exceptional service that Jumeirah is known for, enabling an enhanced experience for all who are visiting Makkah.”

The hotel is also home to eight restaurants, meeting rooms, and event spaces accommodating between 10 and 70 people. The Dubai-based hotel group, which manages the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel, has been planning an expansion into the Saudi market since 2009. The Group’s second property in Saudi Arabia, Jumeirah The Red Sea, is scheduled for 2024, the company announced last year.

Rizwan Shaikh, a hotelier with luxury hospitality experience in India, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, has been appointed general manager of Jumeirah Jabal Omar Makkah.

Saudi Arabia is gearing up for a significant expansion in its hospitality sector by developing 315,000 new hotel keys by 2030, according to a May 2023 report on the future of hospitality in the region by Knight Frank.

According to the firm, this growth will see Saudi Arabia’s hotel room inventory swell to become larger than Dubai’s current 140,000 keys.