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Wed 2 May 2007 11:08 AM

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Bubble won't burst, says Marriott boss

ATM Special: Hotels chief predicts blue sky for Middle East hotel industry.

While the Dubai hotel market may see a "small cycle" affecting business levels, hoteliers should remain optimistic, according to Marriott International president Ed Fuller.

Fuller's prediction came on the back of another portfolio growth announcement for Marriott in the Middle East, with another 16 hotels set to add more than 3500 rooms to the region's supply in the next three years.

In the UAE Marriott will open eight hotels, with one in Ras Al Khaimah, two in Sharjah and five in Dubai. Brands include Renaissance, a JW Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments.

Other properties announced are spread between Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Bahrain.

With much of the discussion at this week's Arabian Hotel Investment Conference and Arabian Travel Market focused on whether Dubai can maintain its sustained growth with the large amount of supply coming into the market, Fuller said he remained optimistic.

"I am an eternal optimist. I have been working and coming to Dubai since 1990, and in that time there have been small cycles [down] and a great deal of growth," he said.

"You will always see those cycles but I am an optimist and I don't see the bubble bursting."

Fuller also highlighted China and India as countries Marriott would be targeting for future development internationally.

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