Following the retirement of IHG stalwart John Bamsey, who was ranked number three in last year’s Power 50, another long-serving member of the family has taken his place.
Pascal Gauvin, who joined IHG in 1993, has overseen four Middle East openings in the past 12 months, including the first Crowne Plaza in Qatar, significantly also the first in the region to feature the brand’s new image. Still to come this year are Crowne Plaza Dead Sea Resort & Spa, the 502-room Crowne Plaza Medinah and Holiday Inn Riyadh Meydan.
There were also three significant signings earlier this year: InterContinental Muscat Hills, Oman; InterContinental Riyadh King Abdullah Financial District, KSA; and the first Hotel Indigo signing in the region, also in Riyadh.
Seven hotels are expected to open before Q4 2013, including InterContinental Kuwait and Staybridge Suites Beirut.
Factoring in India and Africa too and Gauvin says that in total, over the next five years, IHG is targeting 96 new hotels. There are 27 in the confirmed pipeline for Middle East, making IHG the only chain to exceed a total portfolio of 100 hotels in the region.