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22 March, 2010

InterContinental Hotels Group and Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Co. announce official opening of Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport

New hotel is the largest Holiday Inn Express in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and the fourth property to open in Dubai

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in partnership with Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Company has officially opened the Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport. The 381 room hotel marks IHG's fourth Holiday Inn Express property in Dubai and the largest in the EMEA region in terms of number of rooms.

Holiday Inn Express is the world's largest limited service hotel brand. Since its launch in the Middle East in 2007, Holiday Inn Express has pioneered the limited service concept in the region, offering competitive pricing, quality accommodation for both business and leisure travellers consistent with a trusted international brand.

The Middle East achieved the highest occupancy, average room rates and RevPar globally in 2009, proving the strength of the region's hotel and hospitality sector. With the opening of Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport, IHG - which owns seven leading hotel brands including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn - is well positioned to benefit from the 11 million tourists that are forecast to visit the UAE this year ."

Present at the opening, Andy Cosslett, chief executive officer, IHG said: "IHG opened its first hotel in the UAE 35 years ago and we have continued to invest in the Emirates 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. These figures are a measure of our commitment to the growth and development of the UAE's tourism sector and its position as a leading regional business hub."

Conveniently located opposite Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport and adjacent to the Dubai Metro, Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport is only minutes from a number of shopping malls and restaurants, as well as Dubai's central business district, ensuring the needs of both business and leisure travellers are met.

Consisting of 381 well-appointed rooms set over four floors, the Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport offers signature power showers and satellite TV in every room, wireless internet access throughout public areas, a 24 hour fully equipped gym, laundry services, complimentary breakfast for all guests. In addition, guests have access to five state of the art meeting rooms, underground parking and a complimentary shuttle bus service from the hotel to Dubai International Airport.

John Bamsey, chief operating office, 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. The opening of the Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport, the largest Holiday Inn Express hotel in the EMEA region, further extends our brand portfolio and illustrates our commitment to providing guests with even more choice and convenience in the UAE."

As the exclusive developer of the Holiday Inn Express brand in the GCC, excluding Saudi Arabia, Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Co. will be responsible for the operation and management of the new hotel.

Sami Al Ansari, chief executive officer, Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Co., said: "The opening of the Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport today is testament to our long-standing and well established partnership with IHG. 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 currently under construction and due to open Q4 2011."

Attending the inauguration ceremony, Anand Krishnan, Chairman of Ishraq and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai International Capital, Ishraq's major shareholder, emphasised that the new hotel opening marked an important step for Ishraq's expansion across the region and its contribution towards the development of the region's hospitality sector.

"Ishraq's roll out of the Holiday Inn Express brand has been a remarkable achievement since the first property was launched in 2007. Ishraq has built an impressive track record for developing and managing Holiday Inn Express Hotels in the GCC and we are particularly delighted with the brand's ability to rapidly develop a new segment for value conscious business travelers in the region's highly-competitive hospitality sector.

"DIC's continuing investment demonstrates our commitment to Ishraq's management team and its ability to sustain impressive growth."

There are currently 2,069 Holiday Inn Express properties across the world, with 563 additional hotels in the development pipeline. Across the Middle East and Africa there are seven Holiday Inn Express hotels, providing more than 1,345 rooms, with a further six properties in the development pipeline over the next 3-5 years.

Holiday Inn is currently undergoing the biggest relaunch in the hospitality industry, with a multimillion dollar investment across more than 3,300 hotels and 420,000 rooms worldwide. Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of the MEA Holiday Inn Estate is now relaunched, with the remaining properties set to be completed by the end of 2010.

About Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Co:

Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Company BSC is a real estate developer and investor that was established to invest in the development of high-quality, affordable hotels in the Middle East market. Head quartered in Dubai, Ishraq is the exclusive developer of the Express by Holiday Inn hotels in the entire GCC (except Saudi Arabia) Ishraq is on track with four operating Holiday Inn Express hotels in Dubai, several other sites under various stages of development in Bahrain, Oman, Doha and the UAE to develop 20+ Hotels within a six year roll-out plan. Dubai International Capital, the investment arm of Dubai Holding is the major shareholder of ISHRAQ. Its partners include several investors from the GCC. Please visit: for additional information.

Media enquiries:

Robyn Mallalieu
Mob: +971 50 7123942

Notes to Editors:

InterContinental InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world’s largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,400 hotels and more than 645,000 guest rooms in over 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world’s largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with 48 million members worldwide.

IHG has nearly 1,400 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 160,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at

As of 31 December 2009, IHG has 94 hotels in the Middle East & Africa made up of 35 InterContinental hotels, 17 Crowne Plaza hotels, 31 Holiday Inn hotels, 7 Holiday Inn Express hotels, 2 Staybridge Suite hotels and 2 unbranded hotels.


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