Marriott earmarks massive MENA expansion

Marriott has earmarked plans for an ambitious expansion programme across the Middle East and Africa that will include the opening of more than 40 properties by 2016.

The hospitality giant will open hotels in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and UAE, bringing its total in the region to 68 properties.

The move follows Marriott opening a regional office in Dubai last autumn.

President and Managing Director of International Lodging, Marriott International, Ed Fuller, said: “There’s no denying that the past year in the Middle East and Africa has had its challenges. However, we are seeing pockets of resurgence throughout the region both in terms of new hotel development and in occupancies.”

Plans include three openings this year in Qatar, a luxury JW Marriott hotel in Tripoli.

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There is also a large push into Algeria with a 227-room Algiers Marriott, 180-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Algiers – both opening 2012. The company has also signed management contracts for the 204-room Renaissance Tlemcen, which is set to open next January.

“The dynamic nature of tourism in the Middle East and the strong emergence of Africa as a viable destination for business and leisure travel are evident. We expect both to play an important role in our strategies in the long-term future,” he added.

The 216-room Marrakech Marriott Palm Golf Hotel, Marriott’s first venture in Morocco, will open in 2012. It will include an 18-hole golf course and 250 luxury residences. Other country firsts include Rwanda with the 237-room Kigali Marriott Hotel.

It is also due to open the landmark JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai in 2012.
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