4,200-room IHG Voco hotel slated for Saudi Arabia [Construction Report]

by | Aug 13, 2019 | Projects

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

Big things are coming for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and its new upmarket Voco brand — literally.

In fact, IHG plans to open its biggest property yet under Voco. That would be the Voco Makkah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is slated to open in early 2020, and when it does it will have 4,200 rooms, making it not just the biggest Voco property but one of the single biggest hotels in the entire world (with the biggest, for those who are curious, being the 7,351-room First World Hotel in Malaysia, which set the Guiness World Record for having the most rooms back in 2015).

Voco Makkah will be housed within the Maad Hospitality Towers development, which is a mixed-use project that also includes restaurants, lounge areas, event spaces and prayer halls.

More details about the Voco Makkah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

While few details have so far been released about the new hotel, the company is slowly sharing more information about the massive property.

In fact, it will contain 20,000 square-meters of dining and meeting facilities. It will also be located within easy walking distance of the Masjid al-Haram, which is the mosque that attracts millions of visitors each year for the Hajj pilgrimage. This opening will take the United Kingdom-based IHG’s total portfolio within Saudi Arabia to above 19,500 total rooms.

It’s also a significant milestone for the upmarket Voco brand, which launched in 2018 and now includes properties located in Cardiff, Oxford, Solihull and Dubai. In addition, it also includes properties in Australia’s Gold Coast and Hunter Valley, with more signed in Bangkok, Sydney, Cairo, and elsewhere.

More about Voco

Voco is a growing and important brand for IHG, which in addition to the new massive hotel has also signed a deal to convert Saudi Arabia’s Coral Hotel to Voco Al Khobar.

Voco, for the unfamiliar, is a “soft” brand, which means that it allows hotels to retain a distinctive character, while also adding common features such as a welcome snack upon arrival, social areas, and a touches of yellow in its design details. IHG, for its part, operates 92 hotels throughout seven brands in the Middle, including Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Voco and Six Senses. The group has also been expanding its luxury and upmarket portfolio in recent years, launching Voco as well as acquiring the Kimpton, Six Senses and Regent Hotels brands.

Pascal Gauvin, IHG’S managing director for India, the Middle East and Africa, had this to say, “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.”

Let’s take a look at some hotel projects by IHG in the Middle East:

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Voco will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and IHG expects 200 voco hotels over the next 10 years.

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