Locations of first three Holiday Inn Express hotels in Saudi Arabia announced by InterContinental Hotels Group and Siraj Capital

Nine more Holiday Inn Express properties to be developed over the next five years in the Kingdom

December 08, 2009 // Franchising.com // InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Saudi-based investment holding company, Siraj Capital, today announced the locations of the first three Holiday Inn Express hotels to become operational in the Kingdom.

The three new hotels will be located in Madinah Road, Jeddah; Knowledge Economic City, Madinah; and King Abdullah Economic City under a master franchise agreement between IHG and Siraj which will see 12 Holiday Inn Express hotels open in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.

Holiday Inn Express is a well established limited service hotel brand in Europe and the United States. Holiday Inn Express is an uncomplicated hotel choice for guests on the go, offering the quality and service of a Holiday Inn with pared down facilities to suit the needs of guests on the move.

The agreement for the development of the first three locations was signed at the InterContinental Jeddah by John Bamsey, chief operating officer, IHG Middle East and Africa; and Ibrahim A. Mardam-Bey, chief executive officer, Siraj Capital.

John Bamsey said: "This is the first limited service hotel brand to enter Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom receives around 12 million tourists a year. With Holiday Inn Express, guests get friendly service and a great night's sleep in a quality hotel with the reassurance of booking with IHG. We're confident that Holiday Inn Express will be a major success in Saudi Arabia.

"The Gulf markets have been dominated by luxury, upscale hotel brands over the past 30 years but, as markets mature and develop, consumers seek out trusted brands. The introduction of Holiday Inn Express in to Saudi Arabia extends our brand portfolio giving our guests even more choice and convenience."

As the master franchisee for the development, operation and management of the Holiday Inn Express brand across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Siraj Capital has banked on the value of the brand.

Ibrahim A. Mardam-Bey, chief executive officer, Siraj Capital, commented: "Holiday Inn Express is undergoing the biggest relaunch in the hospitality industry with a $1 billion investment across more than 3,200 hotels and 430,000 rooms worldwide."

"Nine out of ten travellers have stayed at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express - that's more than any other hotel brand in the world. With that level of popularity among international travellers, I am confident that these properties in Saudi will also find favour with domestic and regional business and leisure visitors."

"As a further endorsement of our commitment to the hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia, Siraj Capital is also proud to announce our partnership with Global Hotels & Resorts, headed by Sheikh Mohammed Yousef El Khereiji, who will play an instrumental role in further developing the Holiday Inn Express brand in the Kingdom."

The first three Holiday Inn Express properties in Saudi Arabia will offer 575 rooms. The hotel at Madinah Road, Jeddah will offer 252 rooms, King Abdullah Economic City will feature 183 rooms, and there will be 140 rooms at Knowledge Economic City, Madinah.

About IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, nearly 4,400 hotels and over 640,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with 47 million members worldwide.

IHG has 1,500 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 140,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com. For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media

About Siraj Capital (SIRAJ)

Siraj Capital (SIRAJ) is a merchant investment company specialising in developing, sponsoring, seeding and launching innovative investment funds, and investment opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

SIRAJ has recruited a team of experienced professionals that form the core group behind the organization. These professionals have extensive and successful regional investment track records with specific know-how in emerging markets.

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