Some anonymous sources have reported the Masjid al-Haram – the Sacred Mosque, Grand Mosque or Great Mosque Mecca (pictured above) – which factually dates back to 638 has undergone construction costing totalling more than $100 billion dollars, with its current extensions expected to be completed in 2020.
The Mosque is the largest in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba. Here, Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the largest annual gatherings of people across the world. The structure covers approximately 356,800 sqm (88.2 acres) of indoor and outdoor praying spaces; Islamic scholars assume the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham in 2130 BC.
The Saudi Binladin Group of developers is currently headlining the Mosque’s expansion project.
But, the total construction values have divided many, and no figures can be confirmed.
But just a few hundred metres away, also in Mecca, stands the government-owned 120 story Abraj Al Bait hotel which is ‘officially’ regarded as the most expensive skyscraper in the world, with a construction price tag of US $15 billion. The hotel spans a floor area of 1.5 million square metres with capacity to accommodate a reported 1 million people.
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The hotel is known to attract pilgrims who come to Mecca to conduct Hajj. This Saudi Arabian government-owned luxury hotel was designed by Lebanon based Dar Al-Handasah architectural group and was officially opened in 2012.
The construction of the hotel began in 2004 and took eight years to complete. At a height of 601 metres, Abraj Al Bait is the tallest hotel in the world and in the top 10 tallest buildings in the world.
One main attraction of Abraj Al Bait is its 43 m x 43 m sized clock standing at a height of 530 meters and crowned by a spire which is the tallest and largest clock in the world.
According to its website, the tower boasts a prime location as the closest hotel to Kaaba and regarded as the best for Umrah and Hajj. Standing as one of the world’s tallest buildings with 76 floors, Makkah Clock Royal Tower, the focal point of the Abraj Al Bait Complex and part of the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Project, is the iconic symbol of hospitality in the Holy City.
1542 guest rooms suites and residences are contained within the five-star hotel which provides 56 elevators that allow easy access to and from Al Masjid Al Haram. Combining luxurious design with the warm tradition of genuine Arab hospitality, the nine state-of-the-art dining venues are perfect for accommodating a wide range of social events and intimate gatherings.
Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower offers unmatched hospitality throughout the ultimate exclusive hotel experience with Fairmont Gold where our discerning guests have the privilege of choosing their rooms showcasing unrivalled views of either the Kaaba, Haram or to The Holy City of Makkah. A captivating view of Masjid Al Haram and Kaaba and a passion for uncompromising service combine to create an experience that is exquisite and truly unforgettable in the Fairmont Royal Floor, where all the service and luxury synonymous to the Fairmont name go yet another step further.
Experience a peaceful residential experience with luxury hotel services at our newly opened Fairmont Residences. Located within the Fairmont Makkah Clock Royal Tower, the residences offer the ultimate in convenience and luxury, coupled with magnificent views of the Kaaba and the Holy city. Designed with comfort in mind, the spacious residences are a perfect home for pilgrims and families who desire to enjoy the serenity of the Holy City from their rooms.
The five-star hotel offers more than 3,200 square meter of adaptable function space including a fully equipped business centre with secretarial service, meeting rooms with a pre-function area, and a ballroom, and a live translation room.