Choice Hotels International is poised for significant growth in the Middle East. The Rockville, Maryland-based hotel company announced it has inked a master development agreement with Equinox Ventures Ltd to debut and develop a trio of brands in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the coming years.
Under the agreement, the joint venture between Equinox Group Ltd and Al Tayyar Travel Group will introduce the Clarion, Comfort and Quality brands across the two Middle East nations. The agreement is projected to result in approximately 25 hotels comprising 8,000 rooms in the UAE and Saudi Arabia by 2021.
Choice Hotels is not the only U.S.-based hotel company eyeing the Middle East, with both Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and Marriott International also revealing ambitious expansion plans last week. And the reason for that is growing demand, especially among mid-scale brands.
“Currently, markets such as Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkahare are undersupplied in mid-market hotel accommodations, providing an opportunity for a strong hotel brand such as Choice to bring its portfolio to the market,” said Equinox Group Ltd. president Shuja Zaidi. “We believe that the next wave of growth and expansion in our region belongs to the mid-market segment. To prepare for it, it was only natural that we partner up with one of the largest and most globally recognized brands with a portfolio that spans from mid- to upscale properties and can offer travelers what they need.”