Company also plans to expand its own MENA Hotels & Resorts brand in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan
Al Hokair Group plans to roll-out 10 Holiday Inn Express hotels in Saudi Arabia over the next 15 years as part of an agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), according to Al Hokair Group managing director Sami Al Hokair.
Speaking to Arabian Business on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Al Hokair said he expects Al Hokair’s hospitality businesses to see significant improvements in 2018, following a 25 percent increase in its number of keys over the last 12 months, from 4,548 to 5,661 rooms.
“I expect business to [continue] to grow from now. Before there was a little bit of a crisis, but now things are going up, mainly in Saudi Arabia, whether its [hotels] for Hajj, for Umrah, or for business,” he said.
Al Hokair added that he also believes that Al Hokair’s business, particularly in Saudi Arabia, is benefiting from an increase of government assistance to companies involved in ongoing projects.
“At the government level, there is a lot of injections of money for construction companies coming back,” he noted. “It will be better than last year.”
At ATM, Al Hokair announced a master developer agreement with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) which will see the debut of the Holiday Inn Express brand in Saudi Arabia, with a roll-out of 10 hotels expected over the course of the next 15 years.
According to Al Hokair, the first 200-room hotel will be built in Jeddah, which will be followed by other locations across the kingdom. All the hotels will be operated under long-term franchise agreements.
Al Hokair added that over the course of the next five years he believes that a minimum of 15 new hotels will be opened under the company’s own MENA Hotels & Resorts brand over the next five years.
“These will be in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Dubai,” he explained, adding that the hotels include newly constructed hotels as well as re-branded, existing ones.
Currently, Al Hokair operates six Holiday Inn hotels in Saudi Arabia, part of a larger portfolio of over 40 hotels spread across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Turkey.