By Andy Sambidge
US hotel group to open first Residence Inn in Bahrain with Saudi property to follow
US-based hotel giant Marriott International has said it is keen to expand its long-term lodging brand in the Middle East and North Africa.
The first Residence Inn by Marriott will open in Bahrain in early 2012, the company said in a statement.
The new Residence Inn Bahrain will mark the beginning of expansion plans for the brand throughout the region, with two others planned, in Saudi Arabia next year and Algiers in 2014.
"In the Middle East and Africa, we continue to see a steady increase in the need for long-term lodging for those on temporary assignment or relocation, and we believe that Residence Inn will have much success here," said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott International.
"Long stay guests have very different needs when they are on the road," added Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager for Residence Inn.
"I am excited to finally introduce Residence Inn, a Marriott power brand and a pioneer in the extended stay segment with its own unique service culture, to guests here in the Middle East."
With its 78-unit Residence Inn by Marriott Juffair, Bahrain, the brand will join Marriott's other extended stay brand - Marriott Executive Apartments - which has four properties in operation.
The Residence Inn brand specializes in stays ranging from a few weeks to several months, providing hotel rooms with kitchens along with traditional hotel services.
The Marriott Executive Apartments brand targets executive expats staying an average of one year and provides the full apartment living experience and some hotel services, with upper tier pricing.
The next Residence Inn branded hotel to open in the Middle East will be an 83-unit hotel in the Saudi Arabian province of Jizan on the Red Sea in 2012.
The 147-unit Residence Inn by Marriott Algiers owned by Trust Real Estate SPA is expected to open in 2014.
With more than 600 properties in North and Central America and the Caribbean, Residence Inn is Marriott's third largest lodging brand with more than 150 hotels on the way.
In fiscal year 2010, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of nearly $12bn.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.