The completion of the infrastructure of the “Makkah Route” exceeded 70%, as 17 billion riyals were spent, out of 23 billion allocated for this phase, with the partial opening of the project in 2023. The implementation of the project required the removal of 6 slums with compensation of SAR 11 billion.
Makkah Path will include 112 hotel towers with a capacity of 40,000 rooms and 82 residential towers.
Yasser Abu Ateeq, CEO of the Umm Al-Qura Development and Reconstruction Company that developed the project, revealed that the final cost of the “Makkah Route” is 100 billion riyals when it is fully completed in 2030, the year Saudi Arabia plans to attract 30 million pilgrims and Umrah pilgrims, according to “Vision Saudi Arabia 2030″.
What distinguishes the “Makkah Route”, or the King Abdul Aziz Road Project, is “the shift from developing Makkah Al-Haram, as has been the case for decades, to developing Makkah Al-Madinah,” according to Abu Atiq.
The project, which connects the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway directly with the Great Mosque of Mecca, is being built in the western part of the holy capital of Saudi Arabia, on an area of 1,250 million square meters, 3.65 kilometers in length and 320 meters in width.
The completion of the project required the removal of 6 slums, which were an obstacle to linking the highway with the Great Mosque of Mecca. The compensation paid to the residents of 3,626 properties amounted to more than SAR 11 billion.
While King Abdulaziz Road is the main component of the project, the surrounding area will turn into an integrated commercial and tourist destination, comprising 112 hotel towers with a total capacity of 40,000 rooms, in addition to 82 residential towers, as well as the largest train station in the Middle East at a depth 40 meters, and the largest shopping center in Mecca.
The main walkway with a length of 3.5 km, extending from the C-Ring to the beginning of “Jabal Omar”, which will open in 2023, will include restaurants, cafes, shops, and cultural and entertainment events, “in a way that restores life to the area surrounding the Holy Mosque.”
The plan of the Umm Al-Qura Development and Construction Company was to start marketing a project after the completion of the infrastructure, but the huge turnout of investors re-thought this trend, so agreements were signed representing 20% of the buildings to be constructed, as the first group of hotels will open in 2024. It includes Kempinski, Hilton, and Taj brands, among others.