Best Western International to Expand Middle Eastern Presence

ISTANBUL—Best Western International has announced plans for expansion in the Middle East with 13 new hotels in the pipeline, including one in Kuwait, two in Qatar, and 10 in Saudi Arabia.

According to the February 2015 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report, there are 640 hotels totaling 149,799 rooms under contract in the Middle East region.

The brand is adding to its eight existing hotels currently operating in the Middle East with new construction projects in key destinations including Kuwait City, Doha, Riyadh, Dammam, and Makkah. In this portfolio of development projects, the brand is also adding two new Best Western Premier properties in Al Ahsa and Ar Rass, both in Saudi Arabia and due to open in 2016. In addition, the brand will add five Best Western Plus hotels and five Best Western hotels, which will add nearly 1,800 new rooms to the brand’s Middle East portfolio.

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The brand recently made changes to its operational and development support strategy, which will now be centered in the Best Western International offices in Istanbul, Turkey, where the company already supports 18 Best Western branded hotels. Additionally, the brand has hired a new managing director and development director for the region.

“Aligning our efforts for the Middle East with our existing operations in Istanbul makes a lot of sense when you think about the cultural similarities and practicalities of the day to day support of the Best Western branded hotels in the region,” said Suzi Yoder, Best Western’s senior vice president of international operations. “Hiring a managing director and development director also signifies a new focus from the brand concerning our future footprint in the Middle East. We already have a strong pipeline of exciting projects and we want to continue to expand in the Middle East and have made the necessary investment to do so. We expect to continue to add to the product we have in the Middle East and take advantage of the already rapid development in the tourism taking place in the region.”