By Andy Sambidge
European hotel group keen to expand economy brand properties in Gulf kingdom
Accor Middle East has said it has opened its first ibis branded hotel in Saudi Arabia and plans to eventually operate up to 20 economy properties in the kingdom.
Its ibis brand debuted with the 176-room ibis hotel in Riyadh and is expected to pave the way for a roll-out of the brand throughout the country.
Next up will be its 196-room ibis Yanbu in 2013 while three hotels are currently under construction or at design phase to bring Accor's Saudi network to a total of 17 hotels by 2015, the company said.
It said Ibis Jeddah Malik Road and Adagio Jeddah Malik Road will open by 2014 and Novotel Jizan by 2015.
Christophe Landais, managing director Accor Middle East, said: "We successfully introduced our first ibis hotel in Dubai in 2003 - the ibis World Trade Centre - and we have now grown our network to 11 ibis hotels in the region.
"With the launch of the new ibis Riyadh Olaya Street, we are continuing to break new ground in Riyadh's hospitality industry by offering the first economy lodging hotel with international standards."
The European hotel group has said it has an objective to eventually operate a network of 15-20 ibis hotels in the kingdom.
Accor currently has 11 operational ibis hotels in the region with 2,673 rooms, and five additional hotels comprising of 1,110 rooms are currently committed for development in Manama (Bahrain), Fujairah (UAE), Jeddah, Al Khobar and Yanbu (all Saudi Arabia).For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.