Saudi government withdraws time-share concept

Construction of new hotels in Makkah and Madinah puts end to scheme

Time-share has been stopped in Makkah (pictured) and Madinah
Time-share has been stopped in Makkah (pictured) and Madinah

The Saudi government has withdrawn the time-share concept for non-Saudis in Makkah and Madinah.

Time-share for tourist real estate units, such as hotels and guesthouses was started in 2005.

But a statement from the embassy said that, because of the high level of building work in the Kingdom to accomodate pilgrims, this would now be brought to an end.

“Due to intensive infrastructure construction activities undertaken by the government of Saudi Arabia, which entails construction of dozens of new hotels, for the benefit of pilgrims to the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, the practice of time-share activity in tourist units in the two cities (other than through inheritance) has been prohibited for non-Saudis with immediate effect,” the embassy stated quoting a government announcement.

Makkah draws up to two million Muslims to the annual Haj pilgrimage, when they spend weeks in the holy city.  This results in increased demand for a variety of accommodation, from shared rooms in flats to luxury rooms in the city’s upcoming five star hotels.

The purpose of the regulation was to protect all parties from intentional or unintentional misuse of the time-sharing.

The time-share system allows distribution of costs related to construction, furnishing, management, operation and maintenance on more than one stakeholder — the tourist, the hotelier, financiers, etc. — thereby reducing the costs for tourists. 

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