holiday inn expands in the kingdom

Published May 10th, 2009 - 05:52 GMT

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Al Hokair Group signed an agreement to open their sixth Holiday Inn together in Saudi Arabia, during the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.  Due to open in July 2009, the 180 room Holiday Inn Al Khobar Corniche will operate under the new Holiday Inn brand standards.

Present at the signing was John Bamsey, chief operating officer, IHG Middle East and Africa, Mosaad Al Hokair, managing director of Al Hokair Group, Michel Karam, advisor to executive VP, Nabil Hijazi, hotel division managing director and Rani Gharbié, director of development MEA, IHG.

“In 2007, we announced a US$1 billion worldwide relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand family to create improved consistency and service levels, as well as a more contemporary brand image,” said John Bamsey, chief operating officer, IHG, Middle East and Africa (MEA) at the signing. “We now have more than 700 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels operating under the new standards worldwide.  At relaunched hotels we have seen an uplift in RevPAR and more importantly improved guest satisfaction.  We are confident the Holiday Inn Al Khobar Corniche will enjoy the benefits of the new Holiday Inn brand standards.”

Holiday Inn Al Khobar Corniche will have two meeting rooms with a capacity of 120 people and a ballroom with for 800 people.  The hotel will also have a coffee shop, operated by Coffee Shop Co., and a restaurant serving international cuisine.

Bamsey added, ”With Holiday Inn we have built a relationship with frequent business and leisure travellers by understanding their needs for services, facilities and convenient locations and that is exactly what the Holiday Inn Al Khobar Corniche will deliver.”

The property will be located in Al Khobar’s corniche, the heart of the city close to the business and commercial centre, making it attractive to both business and leisure guests.

Mosaad Al Hokair, Managing Director, Al Hokair Group said, “We are extremely pleased to be developing our sixth Holiday Inn in the Kingdom.  The Saudi Government Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SGCTA) has a robust plan in place to increase the tourism industry’s share in the country’s gross domestic product from six to 16 per cent by 2020.  We are proud to be contributing to that plan with our partner IHG whom we can rely on to support our objectives.”

According to the latest United Nations World Statistics Pocket Book and Statistical Yearbook, Saudi Arabia ranks 30th in the world in terms of tourist arrivals, welcoming 3.594 million tourists.  More than 342,000 employees are working in tourism sector in the Kingdom in areas related to hotels, resorts, furnished apartments, cafes, travel agencies, transportation and entertainment.

About IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms.  IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,150 hotels and almost 620,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world.  The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with 42 million members worldwide.

IHG has more than 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 200,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

IHG's portfolio within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia numbered 21 properties as of 31 December 2008, comprising 11 InterContinental, one Crowne Plaza and nine Holiday Inn hotels

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at . For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at


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