• Abraj Kudai—the $3.5-billion project expected to become the world’s biggest hotel (by room count) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia—may have trouble completing as scheduled by 2017.
    This is as result of the low oil prices last year, which according to a recent Gulf Business article, could be causing quite a ripple effect to the Saudi economy.
    As the owner of the Abraj Kudai project, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance is also a prime customer of The Saudi Binladin Group (SBL)—one of the country’s largest construction companies. Naturally, the actions of the government directly affect SBL. So when the low oil prices began propelling the government “to cancel or suspend projects and delay payments,” SBL suffers too. Further exacerbating the situation, as reported by Gulf Business, was when one of SBL’s cranes fell into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, resulting in 107 deaths and the company banning “from receiving new state contracts altogether.” In response to its potential financial collapse, the conglomerate let go of thousands of employees and stopped work on several important projects that includes, of course—Abraj Kudai.
    Since last year, Abraj Kudai has attracted much attention for a number of reasons. First, it overtook (most notably) the likes of First World Hotel (7,351 rooms) in Malaysia and MGM Grand (5,044 rooms) in Las Vegas to become the world’s biggest hotel in terms of room-count. Then, many such as Time.com and Architectural Digest reported on the multi-functional project, revealing how it would contain 70 restaurants, food courts, a bus station, a shopping mall, a conference center and ballroom. With twelve towers housing four- and five-star rooms, five floors reserved entirely for Saudi royalties, and four rooftop helipads, Abraj Kudai was touted for “offering an unprecedented level of luxury” by CNN.
    So while the folks at Dar Al Handasah—the international design firm in charge of the project—believes this development will become a striking landmark for its “huge unparalleled size, height, distinguished location and exposure,” the $3.5-billion project and the likes of other luxury hotels near the Sacred Mosque also attracted much criticism—especially from pilgrims who attend Haj.

    note from the admin; avoid putting a link, which requires a password.
    http://www.forbes [] com/sites/eustaciahuen/2016/07/31/worlds-largest-hotel-with-10000-rooms-and-70-restaurants-could-cost-3-5bn-but-when-will-it-open/#63fcac9d26c3

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