Al Hokair Group has signed an exclusive master development agreement with Intercontinental Hotel Group to build the first Holiday Inn Express properties in Saudi Arabia.
Al Hokair will bring Holiday Inn Express, the fastest growing brand in International Hotel Group’s (IHG) 13-strong portfolio, to Saudi Arabia for the first time ever.
At least 10 hotels will be built over the next 15 years.
The first Holiday Inn Express to be built in Saudi Arabia will be a 200-room hotel in Jeddah, followed by openings in cities such as Riyadh.
All 10 of the yet-to-be-built hotels will be operated under long-term franchise agreements, according to the exclusive master development deal.
Revenue gains will start to appear in the first quarter of 2020, Al Hokair said.
Operator Al Hokair already manages six Holiday Inn hotels in Saudi Arabia, but does not manage any for sister brand Holiday Inn Express.
Managing director, Al Hokair Group, Sami Alhokair, said the company was “delighted” to broaden its commercial partnership with IHG. He said the agreement would “strengthen” the Saudi operator’s presence in the Kingdom and keep its commitments to the Vison 2030 industrial strategy on track.
“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’s managing director for India, Middle East and Africa, Pascal Gauvin, 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 four brands, offering specialised stay experiences, and with this signing we are further extending our consumer appeal by offering quality, yet affordable accommodation for savvy travellers.”