Research Article

Linguistic-cultural Characteristics of Hotels Names in Saudi Arabia: The Case of Makkah, Madinah and Riyadh



The current study aimed to analyze and compare hotel names (HNs) in Makkah, Madinah and Riyadh to find out if they differ in their linguistic and cultural features.  Results of the data analysis showed that linguistically, most HNs in the three cities consist of two-word compounds. Culturally, HNs in Makkah and Madinah are loaded with meaning and reflect the country's rich past and present Islamic cultures and heritage. Most HNs in the two holy cities contain words and phrases from the Quran (Elaf, AlFurqan); notable events in Islamic history (Al-Hijra, Al-Fath); ancient Islamic place names (AlSakifa, Ohod); use of other names of Makkah and Madinah (Bakka, Umm AlQura, Taiba); and words with spiritual connotations (Alhuda, AlEman, AlEhsan). Islamic and spiritual words are even combined with names of international hotels as in Dar Al-Eman/Dar AlTaqwa/Dar AlHijra Intercontinental. The word 'Dar' which means 'house' is added to HNs to make hotel residents feel at home in the company of other Muslim visitors. In Riyadh, HNs mostly consist of single- and two-word compounds, but none of them has an Islamic or religious denotative or connotative meaning. Rather, they reflect the local mundane Saudi culture. They utilize typical Saudi eponyms (AlMutlaq, AlGhanem); toponyms (AlYamamah, AlJanaderia). Diyafa (hospitality) and Raha (Rest) impart a sense of generosity and comfort; and AlMokhmalia, Amjad, Asala, Qasr and Royal give a sense of grandeur and prestige. Global culture is reflected in retaining the names of international hotel chains such as “Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton”; or combining a local designation with the English and French descriptors such as "Plaza, Palace Tower, Royale, Crowne, Coral” as in (AlFanar Palace, AlFahd Crown; Coral AlHamra. Results of the analysis are reported in detail.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

4 (8)





How to Cite

Al-Jarf, R. (2021). Linguistic-cultural Characteristics of Hotels Names in Saudi Arabia: The Case of Makkah, Madinah and Riyadh . International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(8), 160–170.



Hotel names, Makkah hotels, Madinah hotels, Riyadh hotels, local brand names, international hotel chains, linguistic features of hotel names, cultural features of hotel names.