Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport officially opened, marking the limited services brand’s eighth property across the Middle East and Africa region and fourth in Dubai.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), in partnership with Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Company, launched the 381-room hotel to benefit from the 11 million tourists that are forecasted to visit the UAE this year.

Andy Cosslett, CEO of IHG, said: “IHG opened its first hotel in the UAE 35 years ago and we have continued to invest in the UAE and build on this rich heritage to become one of the biggest hotel operators in the country. Today we have 16 existing properties and seven hotels under development.”

John Bamsey, Chief Operating Officer, IHG MEA, said: “Traditionally, the Gulf markets have been dominated by luxury, upscale hotel brands. However, as markets mature and develop, customers seek out trusted brands.”

As the exclusive developer of the Holiday Inn Express brand in the GCC, excluding Saudi Arabia, Ishraq will be responsible for the operation and management of the new property.

Sami Al Ansari, CEO of Ishraq, said: “We have signed three Dubai hotels with IHG over the past three years for locations in Internet City, Safa Park and Jumeirah. We are also looking to expand the brand in other locations within the Gulf, the first of which will be the Holiday Inn Express Manama, Bahrain, which is due to open Q4 2011.”

There are currently 2,069 Holiday Inn Express properties across the world, with 563 additional hotels in the development pipeline.
Source: Emirates Business 24/7