Holiday Inn Express Debuts in Saudi Arabia, With 10 Hotels in Next 15 Years

Published April 23rd, 2018 - 06:40 GMT
Pascal Gauvin and Sami Alhokair shake hands after signing the agreement. (Courtesy of IHG)
Pascal Gauvin and Sami Alhokair shake hands after signing the agreement. (Courtesy of IHG)

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has signed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with Saudi Arabian business conglomerate, Al Hokair Group, which will see the debut of Holiday Inn Express brand in Saudi Arabia, with a rollout of at least 10 Holiday Inn Express hotels over next 15 years.

This significant development, which was announced at Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), complements IHG’s robust pipeline in the Kingdom and cements its position as one of the leading operators in the country, as well as consolidating its partnership with the Al Hokair Group.

Al Hokair Group currently operates six Holiday Inn hotels in Saudi Arabia. As per the exclusive new agreement, the first Holiday Inn Express will be a 200-room hotel based in Jeddah, closely followed by openings in various key cities across the country. All 10 hotels will be operated under long-term franchise agreements.

Speaking on the announcement, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG, said: “IHG has a strong legacy in Saudi Arabia, which is a key market for us in the Middle East. We are proud to once again collaborate with our esteemed long-term partner, Al Hokair Group, to bring the Holiday Inn Express brand to the country, and further expand our offering to domestic and international travellers, alike. The tourism landscape in Saudi Arabia is rapidly changing and we are excited to leverage the huge growth opportunities that Saudi Vision 2030 presents, particularly given that one of the biggest pillars of the plan is to bring more tourism into the country.”

He added: We are the largest operator in Saudi Arabia with a strong portfolio of 31 hotels across 4 brands, offering specialized stay experiences to varied guests’ profiles, and with this signing, we are further extending our consumer appeal by offering quality, yet affordable accommodation for savvy travellers.”

Sami Alhokair, Managing Director, Al Hokair Group, added: “We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with a global leader such as IHG, who continue to be a trusted brand in Saudi Arabia. IHG’s portfolio aligns with our objective to strengthen our presence in the Kingdom as well as our commitment to Vision 2030. Holiday Inn Express is world renowned brand, offering great value to the guests and, in the absence of an adequate supply of mid-market hotels to cater to the increasing demand, this signing presents us with unprecedented opportunities to capture the volume segment.”

IHG currently operates 31 hotels across four brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, and Staybridge Suites, in Saudi Arabia.

There are currently 2600 Holiday Inn Express hotels open across the globe, with a further 766 hotels due to open in in the next three to five years.

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