World's largest hotel being built in Mecca

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World's Largest Hotel Being Built In Mecca

Each year millions embark upon a religious pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Soon, if everything goes as planned, the heavily visited desert locale will also be home to the world's largest hotel, the Abraj Kudai.

Among its 45 floors will be 10 thousand bedrooms, about 70 restaurants, and a shopping center. Four helicopter pads will be available to meet guests' travel needs.

The public is not invited to wander about the whole building however. Five floors will be set aside for the exclusive use of the Saudi royal family. The estimated cost of the project is over 3-and-a-half billion dollars, and its completion should occur in 2017.

Announcement of the plan to build the massive luxury complex comes amidst concerns that Mecca is becoming too expensive for the average pilgrim and over commercialized in general. Some worry that such construction endeavors, which have become increasingly common, are undermining the city's religious significance.

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World's largest hotel being built in Mecca
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World's largest hotel being built in Mecca
Pakistani worshippers offer evening prayers at the historical Badshahi mosque in Lahore on April 25, 2015, led by the Saudi Arabian Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca Sheikh Khalid al Ghamdi. Sheikh Khalid al Ghamdi arrived in Pakistan to meet with senior leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). AFP PHOTO / Arif ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA -APRIL 1, 2015: A Muslim prays when thousands of Muslims gather at the Grand Mosque (Haram), in Islam's holiest city of Mecca and home to the Qabba on April 1,2015 during the Umrah or lesser pilgrimages. Muslims perform the Umrah at any time of the year. In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Kaaba and Sa'i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram. (Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An aerial view shows the clock of the Abraj Al-Bait Towers in the holy city of Mecca, on October 5, 2014. Saudi Arabia said that around 2 millions pilgrims are performing this year's annual Muslim pilgrimage, the hajj. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images)
MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA -APRIL 1, 2015: A Muslim prays when thousands of Muslims gather at the Grand Mosque (Haram), in Islam's holiest city of Mecca and home to the Qabba on April 1,2015 during the Umrah or lesser pilgrimages. Muslims perform the Umrah at any time of the year. In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Kaaba and Sa'i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram. (Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA -APRIL 1, 2015: Thousands of Muslims gather at the Grand Mosque (Haram), in Islam's holiest city of Mecca and home to the Qabba on April 1,2015 as Muslims perform the Umrah or lesser pilgrimages. Muslims perform the Umrah at any time of the year. In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Kaaba and Sa'i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram. (Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA - OCTOBER 5: Muslim pilgrims head to Masjid al-Haram after performing the 'Jamarat' ritual, symbolizing the stoning of devil, as part of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on October 5, 2014. Millions of Muslims from around the world are in the holy land of Mecca for the observance of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. (Photo by Dilek Mermer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MADINA, SAUDI ARABIA - OCTOBER 9: After accomplishing their holy pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Muslim pilgrims visit Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque) where the tomb of Prophet Mohammad is located in Madina, Saudi Arabia on October 9, 2014. (Photo by Dilek Mermer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA - OCTOBER 7: Muslim pilgrims return to Mecca for the farewell circumambulation after leaving the devil-stoning site of Mina as the annual hajj pilgrimage is soon coming to an end on October 7, 2014. (Photo by Dilek Mermer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Muslim pilgrims pray on a street near the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The Muslim annual hajj, or pilgrimage, is expected to draw millions. Every Muslim is required to perform the hajj to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Muslim pilgrims make their way to offer noon prayers as others buy souvenirs on a street near the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The Muslim annual hajj, or pilgrimage, is expected to draw millions. Every Muslim is required to perform the hajj to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
A Muslim pilgrim prays on a street near the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The Muslim annual hajj, or pilgrimage, is expected to draw millions. Every Muslim is required to perform the hajj to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Palestinian students gather around a model that represents the Kaaba, a cubical building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, one of the most sacred sites in Islam, in a school in the West Bank city of Nablus, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. The display is part of the training students receive for the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. Every Muslim is required to perform the Hajj at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
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Tall buildings have also mostly overshadowed the Grand Mosque.

The director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation commented, "People have been finding they're praying in the wrong direction because they simply don't know which way the mosque is any more."

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