Ishraq Postpones Holiday Inn Expansion Plans

Chief executive of , said plans to build 20 Holiday Inn Express budget hotels in the Gulf for as much as US$3 billion (Dh11.01bn) have been postponed because of the global economic downturn.  Samil al Ansari made the announcement at the opening of its $40 million 381 room Holiday Inn Express at Dubai Airport on Sunday.  Ansari said “How fast we can develop these hotels is really down to the market needs, requirements. We have slowed down in the last year simply because some of the projects we were about to embark on, when we revisited the feasibility, we found that returns were diminishing. We sort of held off.”

The next Holiday Inn Express is being built in Bahrain and is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2011.  Ansari said the days when Dubai attracted only the jet setters are gone, noting that Holiday Inn Express Hotels remained profitable despite a sharp drop in revenues in the hotel sector last year.

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