IHG set to grow room count by 30% in 3-5 years

IHG set to grow room count by 30% in 3-5 years

Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, IMEA, IHG

Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, IMEA, IHG

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) has announced plans to grow by almost 30% (by number of rooms) in the Middle East over the next 3 to 5 years, as the company opens 37 hotels in its current pipeline. With strong presence across segments, IHG’s current hotel portfolio in the Middle East includes brands such as InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and the newly launched upscale brand, voco.

In line with the strategy to accelerate growth, in 2018, IHG had its highest number of signings in MEA in a decade, with the addition of 21 hotels and over 5,200 rooms to its pipeline. In 2019 thus far, the company has signed six hotels in the Middle East and a Master Development Agreement in Africa.

With a strong focus on diversifying offering and catering to various profiles of travellers, IHG has expanded its portfolio across various segments. Earlier this month, the company debuted its upscale brand voco™ in the region with the opening of voco™ Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Raod. IHG will also be opening the first Hotel Indigo in the Middle East, in Dubai, later this year.  Along with a focus on upscale and luxury offerings, IHG has dedicated efforts to increase its midscale portfolio in the region, which currently represent almost half (46%) of its upcoming projects. Consolidating this commitment, IHG signed two Holiday Inn hotels in Saudi Arabia and two Staybridge Suites properties in Dubai earlier this month, both of which represent priority markets for the company.

Speaking of the expansion plans, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, IMEA, IHG said: “We have a long-standing history in the Middle East, and we remain committed to the region. With the progress of significant strategic initiatives such as Saudi Vision 2030 and Dubai Expo 2020 to promote the region, we see tremendous opportunities to grow further and diversify our offering to suit varied guest profiles.  We are focused on developing scale by building on our well-established relationships with long standing partners and collaborating with new owners to drive growth across key markets within the Middle East.”

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Bastien Blanc, Vice President, Operations, ME, IHG, added: “IHG was the first international hotel brand to enter the Middle East almost 60 years ago and since then we have built a solid portfolio of offerings for a broad range of guests. Saudi Arabia and UAE remain priority markets for us and various strategic initiatives by the government are set to boost the appeal of both destinations to diverse categories of travellers, across the world. As a global operator with a strong portfolio of preferred brands, robust revenue delivery systems and distribution networks, extensive MICE capabilities, as well as a loyalty program with global scale, we are rapidly emerging as the preferred partner across hotel segments that include family and leisure travel, religious tourism, luxury stays and business travel as well.”

Currently, IHG operates 91  hotels across 5 brands in the Middle East, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites with a further 37 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.** IHG most recently debuted its upscale brand voco in the Middle East with the opening of voco Dubai.

**Numbers as of December 31st, 2018 

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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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