By Andy Sambidge
InterContinental Hotels Group says it has signed agreement for 189-key hotel in Al Khobar
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said on Sunday it has signed a 20-year management agreement with Al Khorayef & Sons Co for a 189-key Staybridge Suites hotel in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
The property will mark the debut of the Staybridge Suites brand in Al Khobar and the third to be announced in Saudi Arabia.
IHG is the largest international hotel group in Saudi Arabia both by number of rooms and number of hotels. Staybridge Suites Al Khobar joins five other IHG properties operating under three brands in the city, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
The operator said in a statement that the entry of Staybridge Suites is timed to meet the rising demand for extended stay properties in Al Khobar due to its rising popularity as a regional and international business hub on Saudi Arabia's east coast.
The city is also home to many employees of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, and benefits from a high number of leisure travellers during summer and winter school holidays.
Pascal Gauvin, chief operating officer, Middle East, India & Africa, IHG said: "With five properties currently in Al Khobar, we have a strong presence and in-depth knowledge of the area. This is our third Staybridge Suites to be announced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in response to a growing demand for extended stay properties and we predict a strong future for the brand across the kingdom."
Sheikh Bandar Alkhorayef, CEO of Al Khorayef & Sons Co added: "The King Fahd Road development is an exciting prospect for Al Khobar as the city continues to expand and business in the area is set to flourish. With the brand's stellar reputation, Staybridge Suites Al Khobar puts Alkhorayef Tower in a good position to attract extended-stay guests looking for a home away from home."
The Staybridge Suites brand launched in 1998 and the first Staybridge Suites in the Middle East opened in Cairo in 2008, and in Abu Dhabi in 2009. The brand is across the Middle East with seven properties in the pipeline for the region.
IHG currently operates 24 hotels in Saudi Arabia, with nine hotels due to open within the next three to five years.