- Hosted by Emirati photographer Obaid Al Budoor who shares with us his personal hospitality journey in the Holy City
- The 4-part series is airing now on National Geographic Abu Dhabi's YouTube Channel
November 10 2019: National Geographic Abu Dhabi announced today the release of a new short format series in partnership with Accor, providing viewers a behind-the-scenes insight on the sprawling growth of the hotel infrastructure sector in the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia to meet the needs of the ever-growing number of pilgrims throughout the year.
Hosted by Emirati National Geographic photographer Obaid Al Budoor, the 4-part mini-series showcases the vast infrastructure developments in Makkah over the past decade, highlighting the city's efforts to accommodate Muslim pilgrims from all over the world, with the Hajj season alone accumulating on average more than two million pilgrims each year.
Obaid takes us on an unprecedented journey across the City, with behind-the-scenes footage of the hospitality sector infrastructure from the Accor Group, which has been a key contributor to the vital developments in the hospitality sector in Makkah and interviewing hotel visitors and staff. These hotels, catering to all types of travelers from the luxury (Raffles Makkah Palace and Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel) to the everyday (Swissotel Al Maqam and Swissotel Makkah), are characterized by their closeness to the Haram Holy Mosque in Makkah.
Obaid pays a visit to the different hotel properties to discover the diverse portfolio & see how their expert teams go the extra mile to meet the needs of religious travelers from all over the world. We learn about the pilgrims' experience from employees working there, who provide a detailed understanding of the extensive preparations the hotel undergoes in anticipation of visiting pilgrims throughout the year.
Each mini-episode sheds light on a new hotel department, from rooms and housekeeping to food and beverage, and safety divisions as well as personalized luxury to provide visitors with the modern Arabian and world-class hospitality experience to help them focus fully on their spiritual experience.
“Through this new short series, we bring to viewers a new aspect of the Holy City of Makkah, this time spotlighting the extraordinary growth of the hospitality sector. We focus on the hospitality offering & experience that is being brought by Accor.” said Sanjay Raina, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Middle East and North Africa, FOX Networks Group. “In National Geographic Abu Dhabi's trademark factual entertainment style, the new short series explores another key aspect of the region, its hospitality sector, which is embedded into the Arab culture.”
“Our partnership with National Geographic Abu Dhabi presents an unrivalled opportunity to highlight the pivotal role Accor plays in hosting pilgrims in Makkah, with the Group's portfolio of premium and luxury properties dedicated to meeting guests' specific needs and enhancing their spiritual journey,” said Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer, Accor Middle East & Africa.
“As Hajj and Umrah visitor numbers increase and source markets diversify, in line with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 targets, Accor is committed to expanding its hospitality offering in Makkah by opening new hotels and developing its range of tailored pilgrim services.”
The mini-series is airing now on National Geographic Abu Dhabi's YouTube channel.