Marriott reveals MEA expansion ambitions

Bulgari Hotel and Residences Dubai

Marriott International has revealed expansion plans with projected growth across 38 countries and 150,000 rooms in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, operational and pipeline, by 2022.

The completion of the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016 now positions Marriott International as the world’s leading hotel company. The recently created luxury brands group currently features six brands across the region, including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St Regis, W Hotels, and The Luxury Collection.  A remarkable 15 new luxury brand properties with 3,500 rooms are set to open across the region between now and the end of 2018.

Further adding and strengthening to this luxury lifestyle offering, Marriott’s scheduled 2017 openings include the 200-room Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai, 257-room Edition Abu Dhabi, 280-room W Amman Hotel in Jordan, and The St. Regis Cairo, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year. Globally, The Ritz-Carlton, St Regis and JW Marriott brands are classified as ‘classic luxury’, while the other five brands fall under ‘distinctive luxury’. Across Saudi Arabia, scheduled 2017 openings include the 400-room Sheraton Makkah Jabal Al Kabba Hotel, set to open in Q3 and 1000-room Four Points by Sheraton Makkah Al Naseem, set to open in Q4.

Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International, Middle East & Africa, says: “The guests we see visiting our hotels today are looking for authenticity and personalisation within their experiences. The unmatched breadth and depth of Marriott International’s brand portfolio uniquely positions us to cater to the increased demand of the rapidly-expanding cadre of affluent travellers.”

A remarkable 29 new properties are set to open in 2017 with a total of 6815 rooms. The openings will see the hotel operator expand its Middle East footprint by 15 properties across the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, including the Bulgari, Renaissance, The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands.

The company has also announced further growth to its African pipeline with the opening of 14 new properties under the Courtyard by Marriott, JW by Marriott, Protea Hotels by Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Four Points by Sheraton, and Element brands.