Twenty Express by Holiday Inn hotels are to be developed across the Gulf Arab States in a $150m (£85.5m) joint venture between 12 regional investors.
Part of the InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio, the three-star properties will become the first international brand to enter the region on this scale.
The key player in the development's owning company, Ishraq, is Dubai International Capital, the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, which includes hotel group Jumeirah in its portfolio.
The hotels will be located in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and UAE, with the first opening in Dubai by the end of 2006 and the rest by 2010.
By Emily Manson
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