While growing up in the 80s/90s, geography lessons were simple. Largest mountain peak, biggest waterfalls, widest plateau, deepest valley. I wonder what it must be like in schools these days. No doubt these would be part of the lesson still, but also adding all the other architectural/luxury wonders. Tallest tower, scariest water slide, largest airport, largest underwater theme park, etc. And while Dubai has so far held the leading position of building the biggest and largest structures, Saudi Arabia is now close on the emirate’s heels and looks aggressive enough to take over. Saudi Arabia is going to be the home for the world’s biggest hotel in the world when Abraj Kudai opens in 2017. The hotel, located 2.2km from Makkah, will have 10,000 rooms spread over 12 towers and 45 storeys. There will be a 10 storey podium at the base, a dome at the centre of the structure and four helipads. From an aerial view, the complex will look like the sun and all its planets on a single orbit. The hotel will also have 70 restaurants, food courts, shopping mall, conference centre, ballroom and a bus station. This will be like a vertical township.
The project is built by the Saudi Ministry of Finance and designed by Dar al-Handasah group. It is estimated at a whopping $3.6 billion. Five levels in the hotel will be reserved for the Saudi Royal Family, not surprisingly as they are meant to be connoisseurs of opulence and luxe-living.