Head Of Operations, IHG MEA
IHG Hotels & Resorts
Where does the company stand in terms of its growth trajectory and its strategy for the MENA region?
The Middle East continues to be an attractive market for tourism and hospitality, and we are on track with our growth plans for the region. The majority of our growth in the Middle East will continue to be driven predominantly by the UAE and KSA. However, we also see opportunities more broadly across the region, particularly in Oman and Egypt.
In line with our growth ambition, we have recently announced a number of signings across the region, including an MDA with RIVA Development Company, which is a five-year agreement to open at least seven hotels in Saudi Arabia across IHG’s portfolio of brands, including cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Eastern Province, Abha, Hail, Qassim and Tabuk. Hotel Indigo Riyadh, King Abdallah Road was the first hotel to be announced under this partnership and marked the brand’s debut in the country. We also recently announced the signing of Hotel Indigo Jabal Al Akhdar in Oman, voco Dubai Palm Jumeirah and Voco Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers in the UAE, and Holiday Inn New Assiut Asayla in Egypt. Furthermore, we are in discussions with a number of partners and expect to sign more hotels, across our portfolio of brands, in the coming months. We also have some exciting hotel openings this year, including InterContinental Mina Al Arab in Ras Al Khaimah. It will be a unique beach resort hotel which is designed as a contemporary tropical resort with a lush landscape and indoor/outdoor experience of a resort. Some of our other openings include Staybridge Suites, Dubai Financial Centre and Staybridge Suites, Dubai Internet City to cater to our long stay guests, voco Jeddah Gate and Holiday Inn Riyadh Al Malaz in Saudi Arabia.