2021: IHG® Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has recently signed a Master Development Agreement (MDA) with Ishraq Hospitality, a division of the Dubai-based Mohamed & Obaid Almulla Group, to develop eight hotels across IHG’s midscale brand, Holiday Inn Express, in the MEA region. The multi-property portfolio license will see new hotel openings in the United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt in the near term. Ishraq Hospitality, which operates HIEX under the IHG® franchise, currently owns four Holiday Inn Express hotels in the UAE in partnership with IHG®.
Holiday Inn Express is one of IHG’s fastest-growing hotel brands – a first choice for the increasing number of travelers who need a simple, engaging place to rest, recharge and get a little work done. The agreement will mark the first Holiday Inn Express hotels in Oman, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt where there is an expected build-up of demand for midscale, branded accommodation to cater to business and leisure tourists alike. The brand debuts will strengthen IHG’s existing Holiday Inn brand family portfolio and solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality players across the region.
Ishraq Hospitality has an excellent track record in hospitality management and the agreement will see it expand its horizons to create a regional footprint.
Speaking on the announcement, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Ishraq Hospitality, which will bring the Holiday Inn Express brand to the forefront in the Middle East and further strengthen our midscale offering in the MEA region. We are proud to continue our relationship with Ishraq Hospitality with whom we share a common vision for the travel and tourism industry in the region. The hospitality sector has faced great challenges in response to COVID-19, however, such signings reaffirm a positive future outlook for the industry. We are excited about this new venture and look forward to welcoming guests to these highly anticipated locations in the near future.”
Sherif Beshara, Group CEO of Mohamed & Obaid Almulla Group, the holding company of Ishraq Hospitality, said, “We are proud to further strengthen our partnership with IHG®, given our already strong, successful relationship with them. This agreement solidifies and endorses Ishraq Hospitality as a renowned hospitality management company under the IHG® franchise. This signing presents us with more opportunities to reinforce and build on our Holiday Inn Express portfolio in MEA.
“There is ample evidence of the strength of the region’s economy and the robust potential of its hospitality sector, and we are committed to accelerating this growth, along with IHG®, our trusted partner.
“Given IHG®’s global expertise in hospitality, their signature flair and strong legacy in the region, I am confident that the opening of the hotels in enviably strategic locations will successfully cater to all the needs of modern business and leisure travelers.”
IHG currently operates 95 hotels across 7 brands in the Middle East, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, voco™and Six Senses with a further 42 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.
**Numbers as of September 30th, 2020