«MASAR» … Behind the scenes of the 100-Billion-Riyal Destination
"MASAR Destination is an integrated urban destination, the first destination to be developed by Umm Al Qura for Development & Construction, unifying the development concepts of Human & Place."
Mr. Yasser AbuAteek
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is proud of its achievements as a result of several strategic transformations powered by Vision 2030, where “Destination Making” stands out as one of the most prominent growth initiatives that marks this era of transformation. We've recently witnessed a rise of unique destinations across the different regions of Saudi Arabia, all with the aim of positioning the Kingdom as a global go-to destination, that offers visitors a chance to explore a series of rich experiences. This is to enable the development of the Kingdom’s integrated tourism ecosystem based on new and leading standards in this significant industry.
Based in the spiritual heart of Saudi Arabia, MASAR Destination is an integrated urban destination, the first destination to be developed by Umm Al Qura for Development & Construction, unifying the development concepts of Human & Place. We, at Umm Al Qura, believe that prosperity in contemporary civil society, is not only restricted to economic growth. Instead, it should create an integrated and holistic ecosystem that offers well-being, safety, security, and meets humanity’s needs. This is in line with the most important pillars and objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, more specifically, towards achieving a flexible and competitive economy with an integrated, inclusive, and vibrant environment that is fit for all while utilizing the growing concept of “Destination Making”.
Where the role of a Destination Maker is very different from the role of a traditional real estate developer, which often ends with the delivery of the final product without considering the subsequent stages of activation. “Destination Making” however, focuses on designing and activating an engaging and interactive destination that continuously develops unique experiences that cater to humanity’s needs and the ever-evolving trends of the future.
The concept of “Destination Making” is evidently embedded within the MASAR destination, as we designed the destination in alignment to leading global practices of urban planning and design fit for the next 100 years. Throughout this journey, we aim to conserve the spiritual nature, the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Holy City. We have also assessed the visitors and residents needs and experience with the aim of activating the Destination and providing unparalleled experiences. We are creating an integrated destination that will enrich the experience of residents and visitors of Makkah and enable achieving Vision 2030’s pilgrim experience and quality of life programs.
We, at Umm Al Qura do not stop at just creating a destination that unifies the development concepts of Human & Place. We are setting a strategic pillar for “MASAR” Destination to be an investment platform operating with an integrated ecosystem. A first of its kind investment platform in the City of Makkah that attracts diversified investments, from various sectors. This will maximize the added value and enhance the social impact of the destination by creating about 16,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the Holy Capital.
Throughout the exceptional year of 2022, supported by a strong plan and ambitious goals, the direction of the destination has shifted from seed investments in infrastructure (an investment exceeding 23 billion Saudi Riyals, and a completion rate of more than 90% by the end of this year), to a new stage of attracting diversified investments. With this shift, Umm Al Qura was able to attract a group of institutional investors with leading experiences, to invest in MASAR, making the total volume of investments injected into the destination more than 35 billion Saudi Riyals. This constitutes 21% of the total land investment in the destination across various sectors (residential, hospitality, healthcare, commercial and recreational). With such large investments, Umm Al Qura is moving forward in developing the One Hundred Billion Saudi Riyal Destination. An investment of this size would raise the Holy City of Makkah’s GDP and be an unprecedented addition to the Kingdom’s destinations. A destination that will enrich the experience of the pilgrims and enhances the quality of life for the residents of the Holy City of Makkah.
Contributing to the Kingdom’s tremendous efforts to enrich the experience of Muslims around the globe as they step on the sacred ground of the Holy City of Makkah, is what ignites our passion at Umm Al Qura and what motivates us to focus on the smallest details.
… For the love of Makkah.
Written by: Mr. Yasser AbuAteek
CEO of Umm Al Qura for Development and Construction