Las Vegas currently features the world's largest hotel – but not for long. Saudi Arabia is all set to break that record with its new $3.5 billion project called Abraj Kudai.
It will be situated just two kilometers away from Mecca, the place where nearly 2 million Muslim pilgrims arrive to perform the annual Hajj.
The construction already reportedly began and once completed, the (mega) structure will stretch across 1.4 million square meters, featuring 12 towers with special rooms reserved only for Hajj visitors with prayer halls.
Arabian Business reports “while 10 towers will provide four-star accommodations, two will be reserved for their most well-heeled clientele offering five-star amenities.”
Saudi Arabia also unveiled its plans to make the next world’s tallest building – called the Kingdom Tower – in 2011.
The rich Gulf States are known for splashing out on highly expensive and frankly useless projects such as the tallest skyscraper in the entire universe, the world’s most luxurious hotel and the biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display on the planet.
Sure, these ventures attract tourists and therefore more money but isn’t it important to invest in the more important stuff first, such as education and livelihood of one’s own people? Or is the construction of sky-impaling towers more important than building civic infrastructure?
Also, Saudi Arabia is probably the worst choice for the project because it has had a rather unhealthy relationship with its migrant workforce in the past.
“Over 9 million migrant workers fill manual, clerical, and service jobs, constituting more than half the labor force,” states Human Rights Watch, adding that female domestic workers are mostly overworked and suffer forced confinement, non-payment of wages, food deprivation as well as psychological, physical, and sexual abuse.
But it looks like the new hotel project will go on despite all the reasons it shouldn’t.
Abraj Kudai, according to the architectural firm Dar Al-Handasah, will open in 2017.