Yes, you read that right. Apparently, IHOP is big in the Middle East and getting bigger. Success in Egypt at the Cairo Festival City Mall, along with many other regional ghost kitchens has given franchisee, Ahmed Marashde reason to strike a deal with Dine Brands, IHOP’s parent, and open up five new locations around Saudi Arabia.

“We can’t wait to introduce IHOP to Saudi Arabia. With a population of over 35 million, one of the world’s youngest populations, and the largest economy in the Middle East, KSA is an ideal market for introducing and growing the IHOP brand,” said Marashde.

Marashde is a long-time franchisee of Dine Brands’ other restaurant, Applebees. Along with his 30 years of F&B experience, he is highly knowledgeable about the region’s culture and supply chain. He’s the perfect man for the job.

He will be partnering up to bring restaurants to Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, and spots along the Red Sea coast. All locations will be kitted out to serve the usual IHOP fare of pancakes, burgers, and melts. And keeping with the times, all will have the option of dine-in, take out, and delivery.

Look for the first location to open in Jeddah, early 2023. Also, Dine Brands would like you to know that franchisees will be needed to own and operate other Middle East IHOP ventures, as it plans to expand to more than just the six mentioned. How ’bout it, reader? You interested?