The 280-unit Ascott Makkah, 92-unit Ascott Villas Riyadh and 69-unit Spectrums Residence in Jeddah are all slated to open in 2017.
In addition, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh will be the group’s first serviced residence in the kingdom’s capital. The project recently won three awards at the World Travel Awards including ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’.
Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Religious tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry. In Saudi Arabia, religious tourism is valued at $5.68 billion, with 19 million pilgrims having visited Makkah and Madinah in 2015, and this is further expected to reach 30 million by 2025.
“The strong partnerships we have forged in the Middle East have enabled us to accelerate Ascott’s expansion in the region to tap this growing market. We aim to double our portfolio in the Middle East to 5,000 units by 2020.”
The latest contracts increase Ascott’s portfolio in the Middle East to more than 2,700 apartment units in 19 properties across 10 cities in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.
This year, Ascott has added five properties with more than 700 apartment units in the Middle East including Citadines Al Salamah Jeddah - the first Citadines-branded property in the region and Somerset Panorama Muscat.
Ascott has presence in eight of the top 10 destinations popular with Muslim travellers – Malaysia, UAE, Turkey, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Singapore2. Over the next three years, 11 more Ascott properties will come into operation in Dubai in UAE; Istanbul in Turkey; Al Khobar, Jeddah, Makkah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; Muscat and Sohar in Oman.
In the pipeline are Citadines Culture Village Dubai and Somerset Maslak Istanbul which will open in 2017. Ascott Culture Village Dubai, Ascott Corniche Al Khobar, Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat, Somerset Corniche Jeddah and Sohar Garden Residences are slated to open in 2018 while Somerset Downtown Al Khobar will be ready in 2019.