Saudi Arabia to develop Madinah into a ‘modern Islamic and cultural destination’ – Middle East Monitor

Saudi Arabia is planning to transform Islam’s second holiest city of Madinah into a “modern Islamic and cultural destination” according to a report yesterday by Arab News.

The project, which is part of the Kingdom’s Vision2030 strategy, will be overseen by Rua Al Madinah Holding Co., a real estate firm owned by the Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), in partnership with French hospitality multinational, Accor Group.

The Rua Al Madinah project is already currently underway, located eastwards of the Prophet’s Mosque in the city and will include a 140-room Fairmont Hotel, 120 Fairmont branded residences, 466-room Swissotel and 328-room Novotel.

“We are delighted to partner with a leading hospitality group that’s known in the world over for its bespoke and inimitable style,” said Ahmed Al-Juhani, Rua Al Madinah CEO. “The three new brands will enhance the appeal of the project’s master plan and help us offer a broad selection of hospitality options to the city’s visitors, providing something for everyone that meets their need and budget and enrich their experience.”

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Duncan O’Rourke, the CEO of the Middle East, Africa, Turkiye and Asia-Pacific region at Accor, meanwhile, said: “We are proud to sign the first Swissotel property and strengthen our Novotel offering in Madinah. Through these signings, our primary goal is to support the diverse offering at the master development of Rua Al Madinah.”

Mohammed Al-Khalili, chairman of Rua Al Madinah Holding, told Arab News: “The value of the total project is almost SR140 billion ($37 billion). When completed, the project will add 93,000 direct and indirect jobs.”

According to the Rua Al Madinah Holding website, the project aims to strengthen “the position of Al Madina Al Munawwarah as a prestigious religious destination with a modern architectural system derived from its ancient history,” adding that the company hopes “to raise the readiness of the central area of the Prophet’s Mosque by developing a distinct urban environment with a modern infrastructure to host more visitors in line with the goals of the vision.”

In accordance with Vision2030, the project aims to raise the Madinah’s hospitality capacity to be able to accommodate 30 million visitors by the year 2030.

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