Tourism Marriott signs deal with Saudi firm for eight Madinah hotels By Gavin Gibbon March 20, 2023 Supplied The Rua Al Madinah Project is expected to cover 1.5 million sq m of land east of the Prophet’s Mosque and include 47,000 new rooms by 2030 Deal with PIF-backed company responsible for developing MadinahNew hotels will add 4,400 rooms to Rua Al Madinah ProjectProject aims to increase number of Umrah pilgrims to 30m by 2030 American hotelier Marriott International has signed a deal with Rua Al Madinah Holding Company to open eight hotels in the Saudi Arabian city of Madinah. Located close to the Prophet’s Mosque, Al Masjid An Nabawi, the openings will add 4,400 rooms across the eight Marriott brands. The expansion forms part of the Rua Al Madinah Project, which is expected to cover 1.5 million square metres of land east of the Prophet’s Mosque and include 47,000 new rooms by 2030. Satya Anand, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International, said there is “strong demand for high quality accommodation” in Madinah. Saudi allows worldwide Muslims to buy properties in holy citiesRua Al Madinah project to add 47,000 hotel rooms by 2030Marriott to add 20 hotels across Middle East, including conversions Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who launched the project last year, said that it will help to increase the number of Umrah pilgrims that the city can host to 30 million by 2030. Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund, specialises in the development, operation, and real estate investment in Madinah. Marriott International’s current portfolio in the kingdom encompasses 36 properties and more than 10,000 rooms across 11 of its brands. Marriott International and Rua Al Madinah Holding Company sign hotels deal. Picture: Supplied In February Saudi Arabia announced the launch of a new stopover visa for tourists which will allow passengers to stay in the country for up to 96 hours. Under the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 strategy, the tourism sector’s contribution to gross domestic product aims to increase to more than 10 percent, while providing 1.6 million additional job opportunities. The country wants to attract 100 million annual visitors by the end of the decade. Speaking at a recent Berlin travel show, Saudi Tourism Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said the country recorded a total of 93.5 million domestic and international visits last year as it transforms “at a scale and pace the world has never witnessed before”.