Makkah: The hotel room rates near the Grand Mosque in Makkah, about 2,000 to 2,500 Saudi Riyal in the first ten days of Ramadan have now gone up to a whopping 25,000 Saudi Riyal and pilgrims are racing each other to book.
"Hotels in the central area around the Grand Mosque in Makkah are fully booked for the last 10 days of Ramadan", Al Arabiya reported citing industry sources adding that out of 162,000 rooms in hotels in the central area, 155,000 have been booked with advance payment.
Riza Shalabi, Director of Reservations and Marketing in a central area hotel, said that all 810 rooms in his hotels are fully booked. He said the rates per room for the first 10 days of the fasting month was between SR1,950-SR2,500 including the Iftar meal.
However he said the rates of double rooms during the last 10 days of Ramadan have gone up to SR28,000 including the iftar meal.
“Rooms and suites were booked three months before the start of Ramadan. We are expecting a large number of businessmen from the Kingdom and abroad to come for Umrah during the last 10 days of the holy month,” he added.
Abdullah Al-Zahrani, a reservation and marketing staff in another hotel, said occupancy at present is about 98 percent while it was 90 percent during the same time last year. He said his hotel rooms were 100% booked for the last 10 days of Ramadan at rates ranging between SR25,000 and SR42,000.
There are 947 furnished apartments and hotels in Makkah with 162,493 rooms to accommodate pilgrims and visitors.
Additionally, there are 187 hotel projects in between the 'planning', 'final planning' and 'in construction' stages in Saudi Arabia, according to STR’s January pipeline report. The construction phase takes up the largest portion of the pipeline with approximately 40,000 rooms in 94 projects.
Makkah will receive the highest supply of hotel rooms with more than 23,000 in construction and more than 32,000 in the pipeline. Jeddah and Riyadh are both approaching 10,000 rooms through the three phases of construction.
Umrah during Ramadan and Hajj season witness a heavy rush of pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah - the City of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). While more than 2.5 million Muslims performed Haj in 2017, according to the Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Haj and Umrah, over 6.75 million visas were issued in the month of Ramadan in 2017.
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