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Wed 23 Apr 2008 05:37 PM

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Marriott to double Mideast hotel portfolio

Hotel giant to expand regional portfolio of properties from 26 to 65 by 2011, CEO says.

Global hotel giant Marriott International will more than double its Middle East hotel presence by 2011, the company's CEO said on Tuesday.

John Willard Marriott Jr, also chairman, said the hotel operator would expand its Middle Eastern portfolio of properties from 26 to 65 over the next three years.

Marriott said it intends to launch a number of UAE deals, including two with Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties for a 411-room Renaissance hotel and another 195-room Courtyard hotel in the UAE capital.

Another joint venture with Al Futtaim Group will see Marriott open a 320-unit Marriott Vacation Club International resort in Dubai Festival City. All three hotels are scheduled to open in 2011.

Marriott said the Middle East was not only a rapidly expanding centre of commerce, but also a “thriving tourist destination”.

“The region is a lynchpin in our company's long-term vision to expand global distribution that supports our business strategy,” he said in a statement.

Marriott will also launch a 250-room Marriott resort in Marsa Alam, Egypt and five hotels in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi properties include a 250-room Marriott hotel and 50-unit Marriott Executive Apartments in Damman, a 250-room Ritz-Carlton hotel with a 100-unit Ritz-Carlton Residences in Riyadh, and a 220-room Courtyard hotel in Jubail.

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