By Parinaaz Navdar
Operator expects to add 80 properties and 16,500 rooms to portfolio
Marriott International expects to add roughly 80 properties and almost 16,500 rooms to its Middle East and Africa portfolio by 2020, bringing the group’s total to over 240 hotels.
Commenting on the group’s growth in the region, Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson said: “The Middle East and Africa region offers a tremendous opportunity for Marriott International. We have ambitious plans for growth internationally and the region will play a large part in helping us achieve both our short-term and long-term targets.
“By the end of this year we should surpass one million rooms open or in development worldwide, with new hotels expected to create 150,000 new hotel jobs as they open.”
During the Arabian Travel Market, the group signed its first property in Ras Al Khaimah. The 300-key Ras Al Khaimah Marriott Resort is expected to open in 2019.
The group has outlined a region-wide plan to strengthen its portfolio, particularly the Marriott Hotels brand.
The MEA will see more Marriott Hotels opening than any other Marriott International brand in 2015, with new destinations such as Fez, Morocco; Constantine, Algeria; and Makkah, Saudi Arabia in the pipeline.
There should be 20 Marriott Hotels open across the region by 2020.
Sorenson also spoke to Hotelier Middle East when in Dubai, and revealed the group expected to sign another 5000 rooms in the region by the end of the year.
Mariott International currently has 164 hotels operating in the region, with another 79 in the pipeline, meaning it projects growth of 50%.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.