By Andy Sambidge
InterContinental Hotels Group signs agreement for Middle East's first Hotel Indigo
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced on Monday an agreement to open two new hotels in Riyadh, including the Middle East's first Hotel Indigo property.
IHG said it has inked a deal with the Rayadah Investment Company to open the hotels in Riyadh's King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD).
Hotel Indigo Riyadh KAFD and InterContinental Riyadh KAFD will be situated in the heart of Saudi Arabia's new economic and financial hub, a statement said.
Hotel Indigo pioneers a new concept targeting upscale travellers who seek a unique hotel experience, it added.
Each hotel is inspired by its local neighbourhood and aims to represent its culture, character and history.
Hotel Indigo KAFD, the first Hotel Indigo to open its doors in the Middle East, will feature 225 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant and a lobby lounge café.
The hotel will also include a business centre, three meeting rooms, fitness facility, swimming pool, secret garden and a double-height royal suite with a panoramic balcony.
InterContinental Riyadh KAFD will be the second InterContinental hotel in Riyadh, boasting 218 rooms, including 57 suites.
The hotel will have seven food and beverage outlets, four meeting rooms, two board rooms, a dedicated press room, a large ballroom, and an extensive fitness centre with lap pool.
Jan Smits, IHG's chief executive for Asia, Middle East and Africa, said: "There's no mistaking that Saudi Arabia is critical to our success in the region.
"We first introduced the InterContinental brand to the Middle East over 50 years ago. Since then we've continued to innovate, opening new hotels in key locations and becoming the largest international hotel company in the country."
He added: "With this signing we will expand our well-established InterContinental brand and introduce Hotel Indigo to the Middle East market. Saudi Arabia, with its rich culture and heritage, is a great new home for Hotel Indigo, which is already proving to be very popular in other key cities including London and Shanghai.
"This is the first of a number of signings we anticipate for Hotel Indigo in the region," he said.
Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Kherashi, chairman of Rayadah Investment Company, said: "Saudi Arabia continues to develop as a leading business hub within the GCC and projects such as the King Abdullah Financial District provide a world class environment for the growing financial sector.
"A landmark InterContinental Riyadh KAFD and the fresh new Hotel Indigo KAFD will be a winning combination for guests looking for unique luxury experiences from internationally trusted brands."
King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), announced in 2006, is a 400-acre development north of central Riyadh.
The 32 million sq ft district will be a major financial centre in the Middle East and is part of Riyadh's overall economic diversification plan.
KAFD will include premier office space, housing, a financial academy, Saudi Arabia's stock exchange, GCC Central Bank, seven museums and other recreational facilities.
IHG and Rayadah Investment Company are also due to open the Crowne Plaza Riyadh ITCC, which was signed in 2009 and due to open in 2013.
IHG has 22 hotels (5,000 rooms) open across Saudi Arabia, employing nearly 7,000 people, including over 2,500 Saudi nationals.
The company is aiming to grow its presence in the kingdom in the next three to five years by over 50 percent, adding nine hotels (2,700 rooms) to its portfolio.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.