Pascal Gauvin at ATM 2017. Pascal Gauvin at ATM 2017.

2017 and beyond is set to be a busy few years for IHG, with the operator focusing on a number of openings this year - more than 10 across the region.

Two Holiday Inn properties have already opened in India - a region under IHG COO IMEA Pascal Gauvin's control - and the operator is now gearing up for a number across MEA.

The The Holiday Inn Doha The Business Park is one that Gauvin is looking forward to, saying the work so far has been "really amazing". (Read about the property in a future issue of Hotelier Qatar).

The InterContinental brand is also making further inroads in the region, with the InterContinental Fujairah set to open this summer, the InterContinental Abu Dhabi Grand Marina also slated for a 2017 opening, along with the InterContinentalMina Al Arab Resort in Ras Al Khaimah last reported to have a 2019 opening. Gauvin added: "The InterContinental Fujairah Resort is very important for us, it’s the first resort we are opening in the UAE."

Staybridge Suites is also seeing traction in the region, with the Staybridge Suites Jeddah Alandalus Mall now accepting reservations for stays starting August 1. Gauvin commented: "It's quite an amazing hotel, and is the first time Staybridge Suites is going to Saudi Arabia."

He revealed that the operator is already working on the second Staybridge signed for Jeddah, along with a third in Al Khobar, due to open in 2018, with the brand also moving to Doha for the first time. Gauvin told Hotelier: "So very soon we will have eight Staybridge Suites. I know from iinvestors' and owners' point of view as well as a guest point of view, this will spread out pretty nicely in the next 10 years and I believe we will have a large number of Staybridge Suites."

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As of early this year, Gauvin's remit has expanded to include Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and he has revealed that Staybridge Suites will also be opening in Algiers towards the end of 2017. In other news, the Crowne Plaza Riyadh - ITCC will open also by the end of this year. 

The upper upscale boutique lifestyle brand Hotel Indigo is on track with its Dubai properties in Business Bay as well as Sustainable City, and the Hotel Indigo in Riyadh.