Intercontinental Hotels Group Targets Long-Stay Guests

IHG will open its first Staybridge Suites in Beirut in July and a contract should be signed in Dubai “pretty soon”.

IHG's Crowne Plaza brand was recently selected to manage a four-star hotel at the upcoming Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is preparing to give a push to its Staybridge Suites extended-stay brand to capitalise on the market upturn and corporate demand for long-stay accommodation.

The first Staybridge Suites in Lebanon will open in Beirut in July and a contract should be signed in Dubai “pretty soon”, according to Pascal Gauvin, IHG’s chief operating officer for India, Middle East and Africa.

“There’s a lot of interest, it’s definitely a brand we want to expand,” he said, speaking to Business Traveller Middle East at yesterday’s Arabian Travel Market exhibition. The brand is present in Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Cairo.

Extended stay was a sector that flourished during Dubai’s boom as hotel rooms were quickly snapped up and business travellers swarmed to the city – and the Staybridge push is another sign of that the regional market is experiencing a resurgence.

Another reason operators warm to long-stay is that it avoids the peaks-and-troughs of conventional hotel business.

Travellers can choose from a range of studio, one and two-bed apartments and enjoy ‘home away from home’ comforts that provide more amenities than standard hotel rooms.

Elsewhere, IHG will be gearing up to open its first Indigo branded property in the region in Riyadh next year, as well as another Intercontinental at Dubai Marina.

Last year IHG’s REVPar grew 5.6 per cent across India Middle East and Africa.