New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

Voco Al-Khobar, located on Dhahran road and boasting 130 stylish rooms, is operated by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March.
Updated 26 January 2020

New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a global hotel company, has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March. The news comes as IHG continues to expand its portfolio in the Kingdom in response to Vision 2030 and the opportunities it presents to the tourism and hospitality sector. The new office will also 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 toward leading Saudization efforts in the industry, a statement said. 

To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, effective March 1. In his current role with IHG, Blanc is responsible for leading the operations across IHG’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East and Africa, including Saudi Arabia. He will also be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. With extensive experience of working in the Kingdom, Blanc has been deeply ingrained into the market. He has also been leading IHG’s Saudization efforts, which he will continue to drive further in his new role. Blanc will continue to report to Pascal Gauvin, managing director, IMEA, IHG. 

IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Al-Ahmari joins IHG from Boeing, Saudi Arabia where he served as the head of human resources. As a senior HR practitioner and Saudi national, he is well versed with the transformation taking place in the Kingdom and has expertise in HR strategy, Saudization, change management, employee engagement, government relations, employment law, and talent management. 

HIGHLIGHT

The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles, across functions including commercial, financial and procurement, learning and development and IT. 

Managing director Gauvin said: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socioeconomic 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 led by Bastien, to drive our growth and performance in the market. We also have strong commitment and an ambition toward leading Saudization in the industry and the new structure will help us engage with and facilitate the development of Saudi talent.”

He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.” 


Hyatt Regency program supports Saudi Vision 2030

Updated 18 February 2020

Hyatt Regency program supports Saudi Vision 2030

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has announced a partnership with the Hotel and Tourism Management Institute Switzerland — Saudi Arabia (HTMi), and the international nonprofit Education for Employment (EFE), in an effort to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. With the help of EFE and HTMi, the hotel will sponsor various groups of women throughout the year, each for four months of training at HTMi — Riyadh. The hotel will then recruit them in various departments where they will be able to contribute to the best of their abilities. 

“I’m thrilled to be here today to celebrate with the team of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya their new initiative to support Hyatt’s global program ‘RiseHY,’ which is designed to introduce youth to hospitality and provide needed employment opportunities,” said Giuseppina Bavasso, Hyatt’s director of human resources — Middle East, Africa and South West Asia. “The RiseHY program builds on our long-standing commitment with our existing or new relationships with community-based organizations across the world to provide vocational training and career readiness programs. We understand the challenges young people face and we believe that hospitality is one of the few industries where entry-level opportunities can lead to long-life career chances.”

RiseHY is a global program designed to pair the hospitality industry’s career opportunities with young people who need them. As part of the initiative, Hyatt hotels around the world commit to hiring 10,000 opportunity youth by 2025.

“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to boost women’s participation in the local labor market and provide equal and rewarding opportunities for everyone, so that they may use their talents and abilities to contribute to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Walid El-Awadly, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya’s general manager. “Building an inclusive and diverse workforce has always been an integral part of Hyatt’s DNA and our commitment toward RiseHY is a chance to bring employment opportunities to the members of the communities in which we operate. This commitment brings Hyatt’s purpose — to care for people so they can be their best — to life in the Riyadh community.”

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya opened its doors to guests in January 2017. The hotel offers 260 guest rooms, including 39 suites, spread across 28 floors.

Hyatt Regency’s strategy is aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which focuses on stimulating tourism and boosting the Kingdom’s economy. The current Hyatt portfolio in the country comprises Park Hyatt Jeddah, Jabal Omar Hyatt Regency Makkah, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Hyatt Place Riyadh Al-Sulaimania, and Hyatt House Jeddah Sari Street.