Thakher City

Makkah - Saudi Arabia
2012 - ongoing

The Thakher City project aimed to develop a new hotel district in the city of Mekkah, Saudi Arabia (KSA). The main objective was to create an area dedicated to the hospitality of pilgrims traveling to the holy city for religious rituals, such as Hajj and Umrah.

The architectural design had been commissioned from the international firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), renowned for its innovative and sustainable projects globally. SOM had conceived an urban plan that would transform a barren rocky hillside into a fully urbanized neighborhood with state-of-the-art infrastructure and visitor amenities.

The focus of the project was to build nearly 100 hotels, which would provide accommodations of different categories to meet the needs of various groups of pilgrims. These hotels would be designed with the specific cultural and religious needs of the guests in mind, including spaces for prayer and other dedicated services.

In addition to hotels, the project included commercial areas, restaurants, green areas, and public services, with the intention of providing pilgrims with a complete and comfortable experience. SOM's urban planning aimed to create a harmonious and integrated environment while respecting the religious and cultural context of the city of Mekkah.

The implementation of Thakher City would have involved considerable engineering and construction challenges, given the impervious nature of the hilly terrain. Excavation, leveling and soil consolidation would have been required to make the area suitable for construction. In addition, sustainable solutions were planned to reduce the environmental impact of the project and ensure the energy efficiency of the buildings.

Once completed, Thakher City would contribute significantly to improving the pilgrims' experience in Mekkah by providing them with a wide range of accommodations and services in a modern and welcoming setting. The project was also a significant economic investment for the region, with the prospect of generating employment and business opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector.

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