EasyHotel has signed a Master Franchise Agreement with Istithmar Hotels, a subsidiary of Istithmar PJSC - an alternative investment house based in Dubai - to open a chain of 38 budget hotels across the Middle East, North Africa, India and Pakistan within the next 5 years. easyHotel is part of the easyGroup of companies which also includes easyJet, founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou. easyHotel opened its first hotel in London in August 2005 and a second one in Switzerland in September 2005. Designed for city centres, it offers consumers a recognised brand that delivers a standardised high quality product and banks on customers accepting small, no-frills and simply furnished rooms. All easyHotel bookings are taken by credit card through the easyHotel.com website at around £40 a night in central London. The agreement with Istithmar will now expand the easyHotel brand across the Arab-speaking world as well as the Indian sub-continent. This matches the market demand for branded budget hotels in view of the exponential growth in the mid-scale segment across these regions. The specific countries where easyHotel will be present are: Dubai (6), India (8), Saudi Arabia (3), Pakistan (3), Lebanon (2), Egypt (2), and one each in Sharjah, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Qatar, Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria. 8 of these hotels will be operational by the end of 2007 and a further 18 will be operational by the end of 2008. The remaining 12 will be operational over the following 3 years. Each hotel will contain between 80 and 120 rooms.
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