By Andy Sambidge
Marriott International plans to build 30 new properties in Gulf, including 17 in UAE.
Marriott International has announced aggressive global expansion plans over the next five years, including 30 new hotels in the Gulf region.
The growth plans by 2014 include 17 new properties in the UAE, nine in Saudi Arabia, three in Qatar and one in Bahrain.
The hotel giant also plans one hotel in Egypt, one in Algeria as well as 19 new hotels in China, 23 in India, eight in Thailand, five in the Caribbean and Latin America, five in France, six in the UK and six in Mexico.
The announcement comes as the global economic slowdown hits the region's hotel trade, in particular, in the UAE where hotels have slashed room rates in a bid to stimulate business.
The Marriott International's pipeline of hotels under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development currently totals about 130,000 rooms worldwide.
The company expects its worldwide system to encompass nearly 600,000 rooms by year-end 2009.
Marriott Executive Apartments, the upscale serviced apartment brand of Marriott International, is expected to nearly double in size in the next 36 months, the company added.