"The Ihsan al-Haramain Index jumped by 26% this year, doubling its 13% performance in 2011 and dramatically out-performing by nearly four-fold the TASI average of all stocks of the Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange) Real Estate Development Index which grew by 7%," said Mr Malik al-Alawi, the Chairman of Alpha1Estates International.
'Makkah real estate stocks jumped by 27%, similar to Madinah at 25% - but one Makkah-focused real estate stock this year saw a jump of nearly 60%, giving a clear message about the sector.'
Despite current gains, Alpha1Estates has proposed five critical pieces of legislation which focus on globalising the sector to non-Saudi Muslims, which will lead to greater investments, prosperity and quality of life in the Holy Cities.
Real estate investment in Makkah and Madinah accounts for 40% of total real estate investments in the Kingdom, standing at over $120bn over the next decade.
Alpha1Estates International launched in 2006 to become the world's first company to market Saudi Arabian property globally and also the first company to market property in both Makkah and Madinah. In subsequent years, it has launched the world's first bespoke real estate consultancy programme and joint-investment fund focused on the Holy Cities.
Land prices in the Holy Cities are the most expensive in the world, and hitting as high as $133,000 per square metre in Makkah.
In 2012, over 12 million Muslim pilgrims from 140 countries visited the Holy Cities annually for Hajj and Umrah, contributing SAR60bn ($16.5bn), the second-most lucrative source of the Kingdom's revenue after oil.
Expatriates form 40% of the Makkah's population, and the Holy City currently accounts for 11% of the Kingdom's GDP.