Sami Al-Ansari is once again recognised for his commitment to diversifying the Middle East’s hotel sector through investment into the InterContinental Hotels Group limited-service brand, Holiday Inn Express.
Ishraq and IHG have four Holiday Inn Express hotels in Dubai, including the 381-room Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport which opened last year, becoming the largest Holiday Inn Express in the EMEA region by a number of rooms.
The company is set to open its first hotel in Bahrain in the fourth quarter this year, Holiday Inn Express Manama, Bahrain, despite this year’s earlier unrest in the country.
Upcoming properties are also signed for Dubai Studio City (300 rooms) and Fujairah (220 rooms), while several other locations in the UAE including hotels in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Al Ain are planned, as well as Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan according to the Ishraq website.
Headquartered in Dubai, Ishraq is the exclusive developer of the Express by Holiday Inn hotels brand in the GCC (except Saudi Arabia) and has several other sites which are under various stages of development in Oman, Doha and the UAE. The target is 20-plus hotels within a six-year roll-out plan.
Prior to joining Ishraq as CEO at its inception in 2005, Al-Ansari was the country general manager for Radisson in Jordan for three years. He has also held numerous executive positions in hospitality, including general manager with Holiday Inn Hotels for five years.