Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) has named Anton Najjar vice president of development for the Middle East, based in Dubai. The appointment is effective August 1, 2000. Currently, Mr. Najjar is general manager of the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai.
In his new capacity, Mr. Najjar will be responsible for the development of Marriott International`s award-winning, moderately-priced Courtyard by Marriott hotel brand in the Middle East and will report to Bart Carnahan, vice president of development. The first Courtyard hotel in the Middle East is scheduled to open in Petra, Jordan, later this year, when an extensive refurbishment of the existing Petra hotel is completed.
According to Kevin Kearney, senior vice president of development for Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Najjar`s appointment is part of Marriott International`s recently-announced plan to aggressively grow its Courtyard hotel brand outside of the United States.
Our plan is to have 90 Courtyard hotels outside of the United States by the end of 2004 and more than 200 Courtyards by the end of 2009. We see the Middle East as offering an outstanding opportunity for Courtyard and expect to reach our objectives through a combination of management and franchise contracts, Mr. Kearney said. Last month, Courtyard became the first of Marriott International`s lodging brands in its 2,000-hotel portfolio to reach the 500-property milestone.
Aimed at business and leisure travelers who need consistent, high-quality accommodations and services at moderate prices, the Courtyard brand was first introduced by Marriott in 1983 in the United States. Over the years, it has been the leading choice in its accommodations category. One of the distinguishing features of all Courtyard hotels is its superior quality guest room, which is usually larger than rooms offered by other hotels in its segment, and its in-room business amenities such as data port, large work desk and good lighting.
Mr. Najjar joined Marriott in 1978 as an assistant to the international controller at Marriott International`s headquarters in Washington. Over the course of his career with Marriott, he has served in numerous capacities, including the opening director of finance at the Riyadh Marriott and the Amman Marriott hotels, as well as the opening general manager of the Jeddah Marriott hotel. In 1984, he was named resident manager of the Charlotte Marriott City Center Hotel in North Carolina. Five years later, he was appointed general manager of the Charleston Marriott in South Carolina, and in 1990 he became general manager of the New York Marriott East Side. In 1994, he was named general manager of the JW Marriott Hotel Dubai.
Prior to joining Marriott International, he served with Inter-Continental Hotels.
A native of Jerusalem, Mr. Najjar is a graduate of De La Salle College and earned an accounting degree from the Jerusalem Educational Institute.