International Hotels Group (IHG) plans to open two hotels in Saudi Arabia in 2013, said IHG India, Middle East and Africa COO Pascal Gauvin. Planned openings in the Kingdom this year include Holiday Inn Riyadh Meydan and Crowne Plaza Riyadh – ITCC.
He has identified Saudi Arabia and the UAE as two markets representing the most opportunity for its Middle East business to grow in 2013.
Eight hotels are signed and scheduled to open in Saudi Arabia by 2018, he noted.
In 2012, IHG signed two hotels in Saudi Arabia in Riyadh's King Abdullah Financial District, an InterContinental and a Hotel Indigo the first hotel under this brand to be agreed for the region.
"There is significant opportunity across the Middle East region. Two markets in particular stand out. Firstly Saudi Arabia offers a big opportunity, primarily in terms of the size of the market and its growth," Gauvin said.
"We are the largest international hotel company in Saudi Arabia, both by number of hotels (22) and by number of rooms (5,000). Our pipeline already highlights some of the growth we can expect to see.
"It is our biggest pipeline in the region — we have eight hotels due to open in the next three to five years, representing 2,500 hotel rooms," said Gauvin.
The second Middle East market Gauvin identified as having most growth potential over the year ahead was the UAE.
The Saudi Gazette