Makkah landmark hotel developer swings to loss after pilgrim numbers plummet

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The developer of the landmark Makkah Hotel and Towers reported a SR59 million ($15.7 million) loss for 2020 as the number of pilgrims visiting the holy city fell in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Makkah Construction and Development said in a separate filing to the Tadawul stock exchange that it would not be recommending the distribution of a dividend following the losses. Overall revenues at the company fell by about 74 percent to SR123 million, it said.

“The reason for achieving a net loss is due to the decrease in the revenues and occupancy rates of the residential rooms in the Makkah Hotel and Towers, due to the decrease in the number of visitors and pilgrims, as well as the closing of the shops in the mall as a result of the precautionary measures taken by the government to confront the coronavirus pandemic,” it said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia attracted more than 1.8 million foreign pilgrims in 2019 in addition to the more than 600,000 people who visited Makkah from within the Kingdom itself. The annual influx of visitors sustains high occupancy levels in several huge hotels. However the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the Kingdom led the government to announce last June that numbers could be limited to just 1,000.