Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts (IHG) has signed an agreement with Ishraq Hospitality, a division of the Dubai-based Mohamed and Obaid Almulla Group, to develop eight hotels across IHG’s midscale brand, Holiday Inn Express, in the MEA region.

The agreement will mark the Holiday Inn Express openings in Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt.

Ishraq Hospitality, which operates HIEX under the IHG franchise, currently owns four Holiday Inn Express hotels in the UAE in partnership with IHG.

Commenting on the signing, Pascal Gauvin, managing director, India, middle east, and Africa, IHG said:

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with Ishraq Hospitality, which will bring the Holiday Inn Express brand to the forefront in the Middle East and further strengthen our midscale offering in the MEA region. We are proud to continue our relationship with Ishraq Hospitality with whom we share a common vision for the travel and tourism industry in the region.”

Sherif Beshara, Group CEO of Mohamed and Obaid Almulla Group, the holding company of Ishraq Hospitality, said:

“We are proud to further strengthen our partnership with IHG, given our already strong, successful relationship with them. This agreement solidifies and endorses Ishraq Hospitality as a renowned hospitality management company under the IHG franchise. This signing presents us with more opportunities to reinforce and build on our Holiday Inn Express portfolio in MEA.”

Currently, IHG operates 95  hotels across seven brands in the middle east, including Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, voco, and Six Senses with a further 42 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.