IHG expands footprint into Saudi Arabia with office opening

Opening in March 2020, the IHG office will be located in Riyadh and Bastien Blanc will lead the firm’s business in Saudi Arabia

IHG's Crowne Plaza hotel in Riyadh
IHG's Crowne Plaza hotel in Riyadh

Global hotel chain Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia by opening an office in Riyadh as part of the Vision 2030 agenda to drive hospitality and tourism.

Opening in March 2020, the firm said the office aims to drive IHG’s estate in the country, as well as the company’s ambition towards leading Saudisation in the industry.

Leading IHG’s Riyadh office operations will be Bastien Blanc, who has been appointed as managing director for KSA & Bahrain from 1 March 2020.

IHG has also hired Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs for the firm’s KSA and Bahrain division.

Commenting on the office opening, IHG’s managing director for India, the Middle East and Africa, Pascal Gauvin, said: “We have a strong commitment and an ambition towards leading Saudisation in the industry and the new structure will help us engage with and facilitate the development of Saudi talent.”

He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.” 

Saudi Arabia has been described by IHG as a “priority market” for the Middle East, with a current portfolio of 33 hotels and 20 hotels in the pipeline, set to open in the next three to five years.

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