Madinah needs 500 new hotels - report
Expansion of Prophet's Mosque and airport will lead to visitor influx
Madinah needs to build 500 new hotels over the next five years in order to cope with an influx of an extra one million visitors a month.
The increase in the number of tourists is expected following major upgrades both to the Prophet's Mosque and to the city's airport, according to Madinah Chamber of Commerce and Industry board member Abdul Ghani Al-Ansari.
In an interview with Arab News, Al-Ansari said: “Around 33,000 visitors come to Madinah everyday, which amounts to almost 1 million tourists per month. According to these figures, we will have a serious predicament unless we prepare ourselves in advance.”
He argued that the authorities have two ways of tackling this issue. The first is to rapidly agree compensation to owners whose properties have been expropriated to make way for the Prophet's Mosque and ensure proceeds are used for hotels development.
The second would be to set up a group of companies into which compemnated owners would be required to invest in new hospitality projects.
He said that 20 out of 214 hotels currently surrounding the Prophet's Mosque are set to be demolished to create land for new construction projects. According to an MCCI report, Madinah currently has nine five-star, 11 four-star and 44 three-star hotels.