Holiday Inn Express opens largest EMEA hotel

Move signals further developments in Dubai and the emerging markets

nterContinental Hotel Group MEA chief operating officer John Bamsey said he felt there would be a demand for limited service hotels.
nterContinental Hotel Group MEA chief operating officer John Bamsey said he felt there would be a demand for limited service hotels.

The 381 room Holiday Inn Express at Dubai airport opened today – becoming the fourth Holiday Inn Express to open in Dubai since the brand’s launch in the Middle East in 2007.

InterContinental Hotel Group MEA chief operating officer John Bamsey said: “Being associated so closely with the airport and with the underlying strength of the airport, we’re very confident that this will become a very successful and strong express hotel.”

The hotel is the largest Holiday Inn Express in the EMEA region and the fourth of its kind to open in Dubai.

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The opening of the most recent Holiday Inn Express in Dubai is in line with the global re-launching of the Holiday Inn brand, with changes having been made to seven of the eight Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels in the region.

“Across the globe we have over 2000 hotels and about 55% are rebranded and up to the new positioning. Here we have seven out of eight just in the Emirates so we are further ahead of the rest of the globe on a percentage basis,” Bamsey said.

Bamsey added he felt that as the market in Dubai matured, there would be more call for limited service hotels in what had been a predominantly upscale market. Although there are no official plans as yet, Bamsey has said that he would like to see a Holiday Inn at Dubai Festival City where IHG already operates three of its brands.

The company has also signaled a commitment to the emerging markets, with construction underway for new InterContinental-branded hotels in Libya and Syria and a Holiday Inn signed in Damascus.

Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Company chief executive office, Sami Al Ansari, said: “We will be opening many more hotels in the future as exclusive developers of the brand in the GCC, except Saudi Arabia, Ishraq is looking to expand the brand in other locations within the gulf.”

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