By Shane McGinley
Currently $100m is booked per year by hotel customers in Arabic speaking countries
US hotel group Marriott International has launched a new Arabic version of its website in a bid to build on the $100m of revenue booked annually through the site each year by customers in Arabic speaking countries.
The new portal offers real time content and booking facilities in Arabic and allows Arab customers to search for hotel rooms and make a reservation in their mother tongue.
Arabic users can access information on Marriott International’s hotel portfolio of nearly 3,800 properties across all brands in 74 countries worldwide.
“The launch of this Arabic language website makes it even more convenient and accessible for our Arabic speaking customers around the world, thereby encouraging more people to See the World,” said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director Marriott International Middle East and Africa.
“We currently have over $100 million of revenue booked annually via marriott.com in Arabic speaking countries and clearly recognize the role that online technology is playing in people’s everyday lives,” Kyriakidis added.
The hotel group announced in May its RevPAR (revenue per available room) in The Middle East rose by more than 11 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
The hospitality operator said the RevPAR increase was driven predominantly by a 4.1 percent growth in first quarter occupancy in the region.
New figures have revealed that Marriott International plans to double its footprint in the Middle East and Africa by 2017, which currently has 45 announced hotels with 10,875 rooms.
Marriott International's development pipeline in the Middle East and Africa continues to grow with the announcement of five new property signings, adding a further 1,027 rooms to its system.
They include the 186-room Rabat Marriott Hotel which will open in Morocco next year, while the 181-room Constantine Marriott Hotel in Algeria and 210-room Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh North in Saudi Arabia will open in 2015.
It will also feature the 300-room JW Marriott Casablanca in Morocco and 150-room Lagos Marriott Hotel in Nigeria in 2016.
Marriott International's portfolio in the Middle East and Africa currently comprises 43 properties in 12 countries, offering 12,919 rooms across seven lodging brands. It is set to expand by 45 properties and 10,875 rooms by 2018.
In February, Marriott International, operator of The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott brands, said it has $3.5bn worth of real estate currently under construction in the Middle East and Africa.
The US-based hotelier, which operates 3,800 properties in over 74 countries, said it was in talks with several investors to open new hotels in Saudi Arabia and will continue to grow its presence in the UAE.