RIYADH - According to Saudi Gazette Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is establishing two new companies to increase the number of pilgrims that the Kingdom can host at Two Holy Mosques.
The Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund said the companies — Rou’a Al-Haram and Rou’a Al-Madinah — will develop residential and commercial areas around the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina.
The fund said on Monday that the new companies will help the Kingdom accommodate more than 30 million people expected to visit Makkah every year and 23 million visitors a year to Madina by 2030.
The companies will develop 150,000 hotel rooms in both cities near the holy sites.
In Makkah, the first phase of the company’s projects will cover an area of 854,000 square meters, delivering 115 buildings of various architectural designs. It will have 70,000 new hotel rooms, accommodating 310,000 visitors per day, as well as develop around 9,000 residential units, 360,000 square meters of commercial space and prayer areas designated for more than 400,000 worshipers.
The Rou’a Al-Madinah project will develop an area of 1.3 million square meters, adding 80,000 new hotel rooms with 500 residential units and prayer areas to accommodate 200,000 worshippers per day.
The company’s activities will include the development of hotel, commercial and residential projects, as well as the development of cultural centers and museums to enrich Madina’s religious, cultural and historical offerings.
The company will broaden opportunities for investment and private sector participation through the development of strategic partnerships.
The project will also take into consideration the sacred nature of the Prophet’s Mosque, and create a comprehensive system for pedestrian passages separated from the movement of vehicles.
The projects will create around 200,000 job opportunities, with an estimated annual contribution to GDP of SR7 billion.
Initial preparation work is currently underway, with construction due to start in 2018. The first phase of the project is anticipated to be launched in 2023.
The Rou’a Al-Haram project construction will start in 2018 and by 2024 the project will be operational.
It will create 160,000 job opportunities and contribute SR8 billion annually to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2030.
Both projects will raise the level of development in the areas surrounding the Two Holy Mosques, create around 360,000 job opportunities, and contribute SR15 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP), as part of a wider plan to diversify the national economy of Saudi Arabia.