Will The World's Largest Hotel Open on Time?
Photo via Twitter.
The Abraj Kudai made headlines last year when it was revealed the $3.5 billion project was poised to become the world's largest hotel.
Featuring a dozen towers, 10,000 four- and five-star guestrooms and as many as 70 restaurants, the hotel is slated to open in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2017. However, a recent blow to the nation's economy could potentially delay the project's quest to make history.
Boston University School of Hospitality Administration finance and accounting professor Tarik Dogru told Forbes that he anticipates the project will get done, but that it won't be finished until sometime after 2018.
"The decision about when and how to complete the Abraj Kudai would depend on the government, and it will probably be an important indication of how a restructured Saudi Arabia economy will look like," Dogru told Forbes.
Low oil prices of late have forced the Saudi Arabian government to cut back on a plethora of projects and delay payments to the Saudi Binladin Group, Gulf Business reported last month. Because the government is Saudi Binladin's top customer, the group has been forced to put the brakes on numerous projects and lay off workers.
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance owns the Abraj Kudai project.
With funding tight, potential options include seeking a different construction company to complete the hotel or entering a joint venture with a foreign investor, among others, Dogru pointed out.
Currently, Malaysia's First World Hotel holds the title of world's largest hotel, boasting 7,351 rooms. With 10,000 guestrooms. No other hotel would come close to challenging Abraj Kudai for the crown.
But it remains to be seen if and when the ambitious plan will come to fruition.
Other highlights of the project include a shopping mall, bus station and four rooftop helipads.
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