M&C signs another hotel deal with Saudi Arabia

M&C's Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi (left) signs a deal with Knowledge Economic City acting CEO Marwan Fahmie.
M&C's Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi (left) signs a deal with Knowledge Economic City acting CEO Marwan Fahmie.PHOTO: MILLENNIUM & COPTHORNE HOTELS

Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels has signed a deal to develop and operate four hotels in the Saudi Arabian city of Madinah.

Two will be Millennium hotels, one will be a Studio M hotel and the other a Millennium Executive Apartment.

The properties will be part of the upcoming Knowledge Economic City, a US$7 billion (S$9.8 billion) development in Madinah.

The four hotels are to open by 2020 and will range in size from 600 to 1,000 rooms each.

Knowledge Economic City will also feature an academy and campus, museum, wellness centre, shops, offices, housing and a mosque that can take up to 10,000 worshippers at a time.

M&C's presence in Madinah will address the demand for quality internationally branded and long-stay options in the holy city, especially during the religious pilgrimage periods of haj and umrah, the firm said.

Madinah's business and conference tourism numbers are also expected to grow in the coming years with the completion of Knowledge Economic City.

M&C Middle East and Africa president and CEO Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi said the hospitality industry in Madinah is witnessing remarkable growth due to a rise in religious tourism and the thriving economy.

"There is currently an undersupply of branded hotels with international standards and we are confident that our expansion plans will help address this," he said.

The latest deals follow a deal to develop and operate four hotels in Madinah and Riyadh earlier this year and is part of M&C's strategy to open over 20 hotels in Saudi Arabia within the next five years and 100 hotels across the Middle East by 2020.

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2015, with the headline 'M&C signs another hotel deal with Saudi Arabia'. Print Edition | Subscribe