InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March 2020.
The news comes as IHG continues to expand its portfolio in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030 and the opportunities it presents to the tourism and hospitality sector. The new office will drive the performance of IHG’s existing estate further in the country and simultaneously support the expanding portfolio, as well as the company’s ambition towards leading Saudisation efforts in the industry.
To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director – KSA and Bahrain, effective March 1, 2020. In his new role, Blanc will be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs – KSA and Bahrain. As a senior HR practitioner and Saudi national, Al-Ahmari is well versed with the transformation taking place in KSA and has expertise in HR strategy, Saudisation, change management, employee engagement, government relations, employment law, and talent management.
The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles across functions including Commercial, Financial and Procurement, Learning and Development, and IT.
Speaking on the news was managing director, IMEA, IHG, Pascal Gauvin: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socio-economic transformation in the country, we believe the tourism and hospitality industry will continue to be presented with unparalleled opportunities.
“We are therefore pleased to solidify our presence in the country with the opening of a new office in the capital city and appoint a talented team to drive our growth and performance in the market. We also have 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 concluded.
Saudi Arabia is a priority market for IHG in the Middle East, where the hospitality giant currently boasts a portfolio of 33 hotels, as well as 20 hotels in the pipeline, set to open in the next three to five years.