Jumeirah Group has named its general manager to open and lead the Jabal Omar Jumeirah in Makkah. The five-tower hotel, boasting over 1,000 rooms, will mark the Dubai Holding brand’s debut in Saudi Arabia and its largest-ever property.
Rizwan Shaikh takes the role, joining from the Fairmont Riyadh. His appointment comes at a time when Jumeirah is expanding its presence in Saudi Arabia, with the opening of the group’s second property in the Kingdom, Jumeirah The Red Sea, scheduled for 2024.
The Jumeirah in Makkah will have 1,033 keys, including 88 apartments. The hotel will boast views of the Grand Mosque upon opening as well. Commenting on his new role, Shaikh said: “I am delighted to lead the team at Jabal Omar Jumeirah and feel privileged to be part of such a significant new chapter for the Group as it enters the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Having spent a number of years in the Kingdom, I look forward to embarking on this exciting journey and welcoming our first guests to experience the exceptional Jumeirah guest experience in the coming months.”
Before Jabal Omar Jumeirah
Prior to the Fairmont Riyadh, where he spent seven years as GM, he was running the Fairmont in Jaipur. Shaikh has also been hotel manager for Four Seasons in Jaipur and in Singapore.
A key market
Thomas B. Meier, chief operating officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rizwan to Jabal Omar Jumeirah. As we look to expand our presence in strategic locations across the globe, Saudi Arabia is a key market for our brand. We are confident that Rizwan’s impressive track record in delivering operational excellence, as well as his expertise in luxury hospitality in the Kingdom, will build on Jumeirah’s incredible success story and lead Jabal Omar Jumeirah to new levels of luxury and service for Saudi Arabia.”
The Jabal Omar Project in Makkah
The hotel is part of a much wider development called the Jabal Omar Project. This immense project includes 16 hotels, more than 13,000 keys, 40 towers and a targeted two million hotel guests annually. The project also looks to be able to handle 100,000 visitors on any given day during Hajj and Umrah.
Developers state: “Amid the holiest of monuments, the Jabal Omar project is rising up with unique architecture and distinguished services that live up to the sanctity of the place, all for the comfort, peace of mind, and devoutness of the pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Mosque and the Kaaba.”
A handful of these hotels are already open. These include the Jabal Omar Marriott providing 426 keys; the Jabal Omar Hilton Suites with 484 keys; the Jabal Omar Hyatt Regency with 657 keys; the Jabal Omar Conrad with 438 keys; the Jabal Omar Hilton and the Jabal Omar DoubleTree by Hilton Makkah with 676 keys.