Accor's Middle East managing director Christophe Landais Accor's Middle East managing director Christophe Landais

Accor Middle East has embarked on an ambitious expansion drive in Saudi Arabia with a target to open eight new hotels in the country by 2015. 

The hotel chain recently signed a franchise agreement with Al Hokair Group - one of the largest hotel owners and operators in Saudi Arabia.

Accor's Middle East managing director Christophe Landais said: "We are delighted to join forces again with our partner Al Hokair Group in this exciting venture. We share a common vision to grow tourism in the Kingdom and to create an off-beat, avant-garde spirit that invites guests to experience a new form of hotel living in Saudi Arabia through our Suite Novotel brand." 

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It is the first franchise agreement between Accor and Al Hokair Group and their second project after the opening of Novotel Dammam Business Park under management agreement in 2011. The two companies are looking at expanding their partnership, and will cooperate for additional Suite Novotel projects in the Kingdom.

"We are glad to continue our business relationship with Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe. As a trusted and globally recognised partner, we are confident that together we can make Suite Novotel, a new ‘lifestyle city concept’, the number one choice for modern guests seeking to experience something different," added Sami bin Abdul Mohsen Al Hokair, managing director and chief executive officer of Al Hokair Group.

Accor Middle East’s current regional portfolio of 59 hotels representing 14,158 rooms includes 12 operational hotels in Saudi Arabia. Out of the 22 new hotels under development, eight will open in KSA: ibis Riyadh Olaya Street (December 2012), ibis Yanbu (early 2013), Suite Novotel Riyadh Olaya (early 2013), ibis Jeddah Malik Road (2014), Adagio Jeddah Malik Road (2014), Sofitel Riyadh (2015), Novotel Jizan (2015) and ibis Al Khobar (2015).