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The Makkah Royal Clock Tower is part of the Abraj-Al-Bait (Towers of the House) complex, which stands on the South side of the Masjid Al-Haram. The complex consists of 7 skyscrapers between 46 and 120 storeys high. Each tower houses five star hotels, which we aim to discuss in this post, residences, offices and shopping areas.
The Abraj-Al-Bait stands in the former Al Hajlah neighbourhood on the north-western boundary of Ajyad. Historically, Al Hajlah was the centre of the Banu Tayim clan of the Quraysh during the time of the Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم. The house of Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه, who was form the Banu Tayim, was located in this area.
- The complex features two prayer halls that can accommodate an excess of 10,000 worshippers who pray along with the Imam of al-Ka’bah.
The Abraj-Al-Bait mall is a splendid 5 storey shopping complex with around 4000 stores that feature designer brands, local goods and restaurants.
There is a museum and observatory near the top of the clock tower. The museum tells the story of the universe and the story of the construction of the tower itself. Visitors can also access the balcony at the top of the tower and take in the breath-stealing views of Al-Ka’bah and the Masjid Al-Haram
To people like myself, who lived near Makkah in the 1980s and the 1990s, this commercial development, which is on a scale larger than the Great Mosque itself, has been distressing.
At one time, when we used to drive from Al Hindawiyyah, we would see the Masjid al-Haram from top of Jabal Omar, before driving down and right up to King Abdul Aziz Gate. That spectacle has been lost since by large hotels and projects like the Abraj-Al Bait.
Our top picks for the best hotels in the Makkah Clock Tower Complex
Hotel descriptions to follow
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The Fairmont Hotel occupies 60 of the 76 floors of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. It has 1618 guest rooms that are luxuriously furnished with modern furniture and decorated with a hint of local flavour. The rooms are offered with a choice of either a view of the city of Makkah, a partial view of the Ka’bah or a full view of the Ka’bah.
You have a choice of choosing from rooms with a single King bed or two Queen beds and even three Queen beds for families of up-to 6 people. The rooms have combined sleeping and entertainment areas and therefore do not offer individual privacy. Most rooms have an average floor space of 495 sq.ft.
The Fairmont Makkah Clock Tower also offers suites which feature separate bedroom and living areas. The most basic suites are the Junior Suites which have a King bed in the bedroom and a sleeper couch in the living area. The living area has the entertainment, mini-bar and a place to offer prayers.
Families may want to consider a two bedroom suite for their comfort. These suites can comfortably accommodate up-to 6 guests. The master bedroom has a King bed whereas the second bedroom is furnished with two Queen beds. There is one common washroom.
The Fairmont Gold and Presidential Suites feature two bedrooms and two washrooms. They are more lavishly decorated and also include a butler for additional peace-of-mind. The butler service makes sure of all your in-room needs, and make your stay extra special.
Each room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and live audio from the Haram. You will find a coffee/tea maker along with a variety of hot beverages to choose from. A mini-bar is provided with selection of premium food and cold-drinks at an additional charge.
In-room microwaves are unavailable primarily for safety and prevent lingering odour.
The washrooms in every room and suite are extremely clean and made to western standards with an addition of a water-bidet. The standard washrooms have a shower and tub combination while the accessible rooms have a roll-in shower for wheel-chair use. Every washroom is stocked with clean towels, complimentary toiletries, a bathrobe and slippers.
Breakfast for two may be included in your room fare, however, do check your reservation to make sure. Breakfast would most likely be served at the Atyaf restaurant form 6:00 AM and you may be presented with a buffet of assorted items such as eggs, muffins, pastries, cheeses, olives, dates and unlimited coffee or tea.
The Restaurants at the Fairmont Makkah Royal Clock Tower
The Fairmont Makkah Royal Clock Tower features several themed restaurants and cafés. Al Dira features food form Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. The palatial setting live quzi stations where lamb is cooked slowly and then served over rice that is prepared with raisin and dry-fruits.
Mazedar, a name that instantly gives away its origins, is an Indian-Pakistani fine-dining restaurant. It features all the classic dishes of the historic Mugal Empire with a contemporary blend of spices.
If you crave some Asian flavour, check out Aja that serves the freshest noodles, dim-sum, fried-rice prepared with your choice of style: Chinese, Malaysian or Indonesian.
The Spa and Kids Club at the Fairmont Makkah Royal Clock Tower
Performing Umrah is requires mental and physical endurance. If it is your very first time performing the Umrah, you may be sore the following morning. In which case I would highly recommend you take advantage of the Spa facilities at the Fairmont Makkah. The Spa has full services to both men and women offering full body massages, foot massages, manicure-pedicure, a steam room and skin care treatments.
If you are taking your children along for a journey of their life, you will obviously be concerned about their needs first. The Fairmont Makkah Clock Tower Hotel has a Kids Club for 3 to 5 year olds where they can play with toys and games all day long. The children must be supervised by their female guardians at all times.
Meeting and Wedding at the Fairmont Makkah Royal Clock Tower
There is no blessed city to hold a business meeting more than Makkah. The Fairmont Makkah Clock Tower Hotel has 7 meeting rooms that can hold 25 people in a board room setup and up-to 40 people in a banquet setup. The Jiwar Grand Ballroom can accommodate upto 2000 people in a reception and theatre layout.
The hotel also offers a wedding package for couples desiring to tie the knot at the Haram. The package will include breath-taking decorations, delicious international menu and the latest technology in lighting, audio and video projection.
Raffles is an all-suite luxury hotel located in the Safa Tower of Al-Abraj Al-Bayt complex. It has 214 suites which feature private bedrooms separated form the living and entertainment areas. A butler is provided to take care of all you needs during your stay.
Every suite at the Raffles Makkah Palace comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a dining area with places of up-to 4 guests. A mini-bar is provided with selection of premium food and cold-drinks at an additional charge.
Live audio form the Haram is streamed into the room so that you are ready to go for prayers on time every time.
Each suite has two washrooms: one in the Master Bedroom and another one in the common area. The master washroom is extremely spacious and luxuriously cladded. It has a soaker tub to get you relaxed after a long journey as well as a standing shower-stall. The washrooms are well stocked with clean towels and brand-name toiletries.
The most affordable suites at the Raffles Makkah Palace are the Signature Suite, followed by the Presidential Suite and then by the opulent Royal Suite. The suites are offered with either views of the city, a partial Ka’bah view and a full Ka’bah view.
The Royal Suites features a foyer for welcoming guests before they enter exquisitely decorated living area. There is a separate dining room, a kitchenette and a designated work space with a desk and ergonomic chair. The two bedrooms are located at the opposite ends. Each bedroom has and attached washroom, with a third washroom in the common area.
The Raffles Makkah Palace, further takes it up a notch with two-storey suites, called Villas. With more than 3000 sq.ft of space, these Villas feature the living and entertainment area on the lower floor, and three private bedrooms on the upper floor.
There are two restaurants at Raffles Makkah Palace. The Qasar features all day dining including breakfast, featuring Arabic, Indian, Moroccan and western cuisines. It features a chocolate room where guests can request their own chocolate and praline creations and watch them being made.
The Majlis offers Lebanese, Turkish, Jordanian, Greek and Syrian specialties in a fine dining setting – both indoors and an outdoor terrace overlooking the Ka’bah.
The Raffles Spa can help you de-stress and relax after a long journey or Umrah. You can opt for a 90 minute Signature Massage or an Aromatherapy Oil Massage or a deep tissue massage to de-stress your sore muscles. Facilities for men and women are completely separated.
The Makkah Mövenpick Hotel has 1036 rooms occupying 31 of the 58 stories of the Hajar Tower. Mövenpick is a well known brand in Saudi Arabia for its five-star hotels, as well as the Swiss ice-cream brand of the same name.
Mövenpick Hotel, Makkah offers both rooms and suites that are suitable for solo travelers, couples and families.
The Classic room is the smallest at around 365 sq.ft and the most affordable. It is offered with many bed configurations such as one King bed, two Queen Beds, 3 twin beds and 4 twin beds.
The Family Rooms offer more space with an area of 610 sq.ft and more. They include two Queen Size beds, which can accommodate a family of 4. For larger families, these rooms can be connected to another room to complete a suite-like experience.
The Mövenpick Hotel & Residences, Makkah features two types of suites, which feature private bedrooms and separate living areas. The Deluxe Suite is just as large as the Family Room, but features two bathrooms: one in the bedroom and one in the common area.
The Royal Suite features a dining room inter-connected with a spacious seating area. The master bedroom has a King size bed and an attached washroom. The suite is only available with the view of the city, which is actually quite impressive.
Every room and suite at the Mövenpick Hotel & Residences, Makkah comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat screen TV with 80+ satellite channels, a mini-fridge and a hot-water kettle. Complimentary bottles of water and sachets of hot beverages are refreshed every morning.
The Mövenpick Makkah hotel has two buffet venues: Al Hajr Restaurant and Al Firdaus Restaurant. Both places serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and feature an international menu.
Children between 7 and 12 years old get a 50% discount when dining. Children under 6 years old always eat for free.
There are two more restaurants, namely Al Nasim Restaurant and Al Naim Restaurant, which specialize in catering for special events and weddings for up-to 300 guests.
If you are looking for space to hang out alone or with company, check out the Diwan which offers a relaxed atmosphere with large screens that are tuned to sports. The Diwan has a cafe menu featuring coffees, pastries and pizzas.
The Pullman Hotel in Makkah is located in the ZamZam Tower of Al Abraj Al Bayt complex. It boasts around 1315 rooms across of 33 floors the 58 storey tower. Pullman Hotels and Resorts is a five star brand and features both rooms and suite style accommodation.
The Pullman name traces its origin to the Pullman Coach, which were luxury sleeping cars that traversed the American Railroads form 1867 to the 1980s. They were staffed by Pullman Porters who were exclusively Black and came form slave backgrounds.
They’d carry baggage, maintain the sleeping berths, dusted jackets, sewed and pressed clothing, shined shoes, cooked meals, washed dishes and even helped care for children.
The rooms at the Pullman ZamZam, Makkah are a spacious 400 sq.ft, and are offered with views of the city, a partial view of the Haram and a partial view of the Ka’bah. Every room comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a mini-fridge and a coffee-maker. Live audio from the Haram is streamed into the rooms.
The suites, which feature private bedrooms and a separate living area, are of three types: The one bedroom Junior Suite, the two bedroom Executive Suite and the two bedroom Presidential Suite. The Junior and the Presidential Suites only offer the city view. The Executive Suite features a full view of the Ka’bah.
The washrooms are clean and include a shower and tub combination. The Presidential Suite features two bathrooms attached to the two bedrooms.
Breakfast is served daily at Al-Safa Breakfast lounge and the 32nd floor. It features an international buffet breakfast featuring a little something from Europe, the Arab world and the Indian sub-continent.
Other restaurants at the Pullman ZamZam, Makkah include the Marwa Dining Room and Al Zahra Restaurant, which features Arabian cuisine served in an Islamic ambiance.
As of writing, there are two Swissôtel branded hotels in the city of Makkah, both with Al-Abraj Al Bait Complex. The Swissôtel in Al Maqam Tower and the Swissôtel in the Qibla Tower in the other extreme end. Both these hotels are similar and yet unique in their own way.
The Swissôtel in Al Maqam Tower has 1624 guest rooms and suites. Each room comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, a coffee-maker and in-room Haram audio. The Swissôtel, Al Maqam offers two sizes of rooms: the Classic room at 400 sq.ft and the Premier room which is slightly larger at 430 sq.ft. Both classes of rooms are furnished with twin beds and can accommodate up-to 4 guests at the same time.
The Classic rooms only feature views of the city of Makkah and the Masjid Al Haram. The Premier Rooms offer a panoramic view of the Ka’bah.
Families and groups who prefer more privacy should consider booking a suite, which feature private bedrooms and separate living areas. The Swissôtel Al Maqam Tower, Makkah offers one and two bedroom suites which sleep two adults per bedroom and two more on the sofa bed in the living area. The suites have a bathroom attached to each bedroom plus an additional bathroom in the common area. There is a separate kitchenette for washing-up as well as a dining area for at-least 6 people.
All suites offer the view of the Haram and at-least a partial view of the Ka’bah.
Al Khairat Restaurant at the Swissôtel Al Maqam Tower can hold more than 2700 guests. It primarily serves Arabian food along with some western and Indian appetizers. It serves daily breakfast form 6:00 AM in the morning and is open of lunch and dinner up-to 11:00 PM.
If you wish to freshen your mind in the evening or are looking or a place to hang out with your friends, try out the Mashrif Tea Lounge. It features a wonderful ambiance to enjoy delicious baked goods, coffee and free Wi-Fi.
The Swissôtel Makkah in the Qibla Tower is the older of the Swissôtel Al Maqam. It has 1487 rooms and suites which offer splendid views of the City, the Masjid Al Haram or The Kaba. Swissôtel, Qibla Tower is the only property in Al Abraj al Bayt complex with a direct access from Ajyad Street. Ajyad is a historic neighbourhood that is now known for its numerous hotels with ease of access to the Masjid Al Haram. You can also easily find buses for Jeddah and Madinah from here.
The rooms and suites of the Makkah Swissôtel, Qibla Tower are quite homogeneous. The rooms have an area of 410 sq.ft and are furnished with a choice of one King bed or two Queen beds or three twin beds. The suites feature a single private bedroom with a King bed and a separate living area. The suites have a washroom in the bedroom and an additional one in the living area.
Each room and suite at the Swissôtel Qibla Tower, Makkah comes with a work-desk and ergonomic chair, free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and live Haram audio.
Al Ruwad Restaurant at the Swissôtel Qibla Tower can accommodate over 2500 diners at the same time. It offers the best in Arabian Hospitality and food. It is open for breakfast from 6:00 AM and is open till 11:00 at night.
If you are in Makkah for business, the Swissôtel Qibla Tower has a business centre with six workstations with print, fax and internet access. There is also a meeting room that can accommodate up-to 14 guests.
Rotana Hotels is an Abu Dhabi based hospitality group that operates hotels and resorts primarily in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts is their alcohol-free brand, that aims to be culturally close to the people in the regions it serves. It is the only Rotana Brand in Makkah as of writing.
Al Marwa Rayhaan has 528 guest-rooms occupying 25 of the 46 floors of Al Marwa Tower in Al Abraj al Bait complex. The 11th floor features an outdoor terrace where guests can dine in open-air, overlooking the Masjid Al-Haram. There are two restaurants on the 11th floor namely, Al Bayt and Al Shorfa. Both restaurants serve Arabian and International dishes and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Al Deyafa restaurant on the 12th floor features an extensive Asian and European buffet. It offers all day dining form 6:00 AM to 11:00 pm at night.
The rooms at Al Marwa Rayhaan are of two types: Classic and Premium. They offer views of the City, a partial view of the Haram or a partial view of the Ka’bah. You have a choice of either a single King size bed or two twin beds upon reservation. The classic rooms are around 375 sq.ft in area, while the Premium rooms are more spacious, with an area of 480 sq.ft.
Al Marwa Rayhaan by Rotana also offers several types of suites which feature private bedrooms separated from the living area. The Classic and the Deluxe are one bedroom suites. They offer views of the city and a partial view of the Haram.
The two bedroom suites, namely the Family Suites and the Premium Suites, have beautiful views of the Haram and the Ka’ba. The first bedroom has a king size bed and an attached washroom. The second room has two twin beds. There is an additional washroom in the common area.
For the ultimate comfort and privacy, the Royal Suite at al Marwa Rayhaan is luxuriously decorated and extremely spacious with an area of 1350 sq.ft. The Royal Suite offers an amazing view of the Ka’ba and the Mataf form the living room. It has a master bedroom furnished with a King size bed and an attached washroom. The second bedroom has two twin beds and a guest washroom. The suite also features a dining area with a kitchenette.
Every room and suite at Al Marwa Rayhaan comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a mini-fridge, a tea and coffee maker, ironing facilities, and complimentary toiletries in the washrooms.
Also known as Dar Al-Ghufran and Al Safwah Towers Hotel, Al-Ghufran Safwah is a 324 room luxury hotel within the Safa tower of Al Abraj al Bait complex. It offers a seamless combination of modern luxury with a touch of Arab tradition. The hotel is directly connected to Al Safwa Market, which is an array of boutique discount shops that are the mainstay of any Saudi marketplace.
Al-Ghufran Safwah Hotel offers several types of rooms and suites, depending on family size, their needs and the choice of view form the window. Since the hotel occupies the lower 12 floors of the 46 storey Safa Tower, you may not be able to see the Ka’ba form the rooms. You will, however have a great view of the outer courtyard of the Masjid Al-Haram.
Room sizes begin at 345 sq.ft for a double room and 400 sq.ft for the triple and quad rooms. The family suites have a floor space between 700 sq.ft and 750 sq.ft. Each room and suite comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a tea and coffee maker and ironing facilities. You will also find a mini-bar stocked with snacks and drinks for additional charge.
The rooms are beautifully decorated in modern style with and furnishings that have clean lines. But there is a touch of Islamic inspiration and Arab hospitality that is not to be missed.
The ensuite washrooms are modern and extremely clean. You will find them well stocked with clean towels and complimentary toiletries.
Al-Ghufran Safwah Hotel has one restaurant in the lobby called Al Danah. It features a large buffet of Arabian, Indian and Oriental Dishes. The restaurant features an open kitchen where guests can watch the chefs work their creations and cater to any special needs.
If you are looking for a light refreshment and a place to hang out with the guys, try out Al Ruwad Tea Lounge, where you can sit back on comfortable chairs, and kill time sipping on your favourite brew and munch on delicious pastries, cakes or sandwiches.
Al Safwah Royale Orchid is located in the front projection of Al Safa Tower, making it one of the closest hotels to the Masjid Al-Haram. It features 471 luxurious rooms, arranged over 22 floors. The hotel is connected directly to the shopping areas of the Abraj al Bait Complex and has easy access to most of nearby recreations and sights.
Al Safwah Royal Orchid Hotel, Makkah offers several types of rooms catering to all family sizes. The rooms are beautiful with modern decor, vibrant colours and new furniture.
Bed configurations are available in two Queen, three twin and four twin beds per room. Rooms are offered with views of either the city, the Haram and the Ka’bah on the higher floors.
Each room comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a coffee-maker and live audio form the Haram. The washrooms are clean and modern with a shower-tub combination and include complimentary toiletries.
Al Safwah Royal Orchid Hotel boasts two on-site restaurants: Al Marwah Restaurant and Al Morjan Restaurant. Both restaurants feature large buffets and an International menu for Arabian, Western, Indian an Oriental dishes. Children are also offered their own menu consisting of items such as meat-balls, sausages, breaded-fish, chicken nuggets and fries.
Elaf is one of the oldest hotel and tourism groups in Saudi Arabia, operating since 1981. Elaf Kinda is one of their five hotels in the city of Makkah along with Elaf Ajyad, Elaf Bakkah, Elaf Al-Mashaer and Elaf Al Salam.
Elaf Kinda is located in the Diamond Tower at the front of Al Abraj Al Bait complex, barely meters form King Abdul Aziz Gate. It has 240 guest rooms arranged across 15 floors. Each room comes with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a mini-fridge and complimentary tea and coffee. The decor is quite cosy and attractive with contrasting colours that are pleasing to the eyes.
The hotel offers rooms that are furnished with either two twin beds, three twin beds or four twin beds. The each room has only one washroom regardless of the size. The rooms look out the street and have a partial view of the Masjid Al Haram.
There are also suites which feature private bedrooms and a separate living area. The single bedroom suites furnished with three twin beds and a sofa-bed in the living area. The two bedroom suites have 5 twin beds in total. These suites offer a view of the Haram form the window but no view of the Ka’bah.
Al Diyafa Restaurant at the Elaf Kinda Hotel, Makkah is located on the upper floors offering a view of the Haram. It primarily features Arabian food and has a large selection of Muqabbilat or starters in the buffet. Breakfast is served daily form the buffet while lunch and dinner are a-la-carte.
Al Dewaniah is a multipurpose events hall that can accommodate up-to 300 guests. It is suitable for weddings, parties, fundraisers and conferences. It also offers a view of the Masjid-Al Haram, making for a memorable event.