DineEquity, Inc., parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, announced the opening of the first IHOP restaurant in Saudi Arabia. The restaurant, located in "Le Mall," is part of a seven-brand restaurant destination in Jeddah, which opened December 14.

The opening represents the fifth restaurant for the IHOP brand in the region since 2012 under DineEquity's multi-franchise agreement with M.H. Alshaya Co. ("Alshaya"), a leading international franchise operator. Alshaya has also opened IHOP locations in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The agreement between Alshaya and IHOP Franchise Company, LLC, allows for the development of 40 restaurants across the Middle East and North Africa region, with plans to expand to Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Egypt.

The new restaurant features IHOP restaurant's menu of pancakes, waffles, omelettes, and breakfast favorites, as well as a full complement of lunch and dinner items. 

"We are delighted to add Saudi Arabia to the expanding list of countries where guests can enjoy the great food and service that are the hallmarks of IHOP restaurants everywhere," says Julia Stewart, chairman and CEO, DineEquity Inc., and interim president, International House of Pancakes, LLC. "Our restaurants in this region have already proven that there is a great demand for our menu in this market, thanks to the tremendous job Alshaya has done in bringing their unparalleled expertise and high standards of excellence to our restaurants there. We look forward to working together to open additional locations throughout the region."

Comments Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman, M.H. Alshaya Co., "We have already had good success with our IHOP restaurant locations and the brand's debut in KSA supports our objective of introducing internationally-recognized brands to new customers in new markets across the Middle East. We have every confidence that we will find the same level of excitement and demand from our guests in KSA that we have experienced in other markets in the region."

"Our ultimate goal in expanding IHOP restaurants throughout the world has always been to ensure they provide the high level of excellence that has built our brand into a truly international one," says Daniel del Olmo, president, international, DineEquity, Inc. "Alshaya has done a tremendous job in establishing our presence in this key region, continuing to expand our locations while making sure every restaurant is providing our guests with a great IHOP experience."

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