Los Angeles Business Journal

IHOP Enters Saudi Arabian Market

By Business Journal Staff Monday, December 30, 2013

DineEquity Inc. announced on Monday the company has opened its first IHOP restaurant in Saudi Arabia.

The restaurant is in a large indoor mall in the seaport city of Jeddah. It is operated by M. H. Alshaya Co. W.L.L., a Kuwait company that has an agreement to franchise 40 IHOP restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Glendale company, which also owns the Applebee’s chain, is in the midst of an international expansion and recently hired a new executive to oversee the effort.

Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman of Alshaya, said the company opened the Jeddah location after its first four locations in Dubai and Kuwait drew customers.

"We have already had good success with our IHOP restaurant locations, and the brand’s debut in (Saudi Arabia) supports our objective of introducing internationally-recognized brands to new customers in new markets across the Middle East,” he said in a statement.

Shares of DineEquity closed down 5 cents, or a fraction of 1 percent, to $84.23 on the New York Stock Exchange.