By Sam Bridge
InterContinental Hotels Group has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March.
The news comes as IHG continues to expand its portfolio in the kingdom in response to Vision 2030 and the opportunities it presents to the tourism and hospitality sector.
IHG said the new office will also drive the performance of its existing estate further in the country and simultaneously support the expanding portfolio, as well as the company’s ambition towards leading Saudization efforts in the industry.
To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director, KSA & Bahrain effective from March 1.
He will be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and will continue to report to Pascal Gauvin, managing director, IMEA, IHG.
IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and Government Affairs, KSA and Bahrain.
The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles, across functions including commercial, financial and procurement, learning and development and IT, the company said.
Gauvin said: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socio-economic transformation in the country, we believe, the tourism and hospitality industry will continue to be presented with unparalleled opportunities.
"We are therefore pleased to solidify our presence in the country with the opening of a new office in the capital city, and appoint a talented team led by Bastien, to drive our growth and performance in the market.”
He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in The kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.”
Saudi Arabia is a priority market for IHG in the Middle East, with a current portfolio of 33 hotels and 20 hotels in the pipeline, set to open in the next 3-5 years.