The fire started in the afternoon in the eastern part of the Islamic holy city of Medina at a hotel where pilgrims were staying; it is said by the local government. It gave no sign of the identities of the victims, although about 700 people of different nationalities were staying at the hotel.
Prelude indications suggest that those killed died of asphyxiation, the statement said. It is not yet clear how the fire began.
A nearby hotel was emptied as a precaution as firefighters operation safety.
Five Egyptians were among the dead, Adel al-Alfi, the Egyptian consul general in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, told The Associated Press.
Medina is a major religious tourist destination for Muslims all over the world. The city is the burial site of the Prophet Muhammad and is Islam’s second holiest city after Mecca. (AP)