Marriott International has set the stage for significant and ambitious growth within the Middle East and Africa region according to its president and chief executive officer, Arne Sorenson.
Visiting Dubai, Sorenson outlined regional growth plans that anticipate growth of the company’s MEA portfolio to over 240 properties by 2020, with plans to add roughly 80 properties and almost 16,500 rooms.
At present, the hotel company operates or franchises 164 properties in the MEA region, across nine brands in 17 countries.
“The Middle East and Africa region offers a tremendous opportunity for Marriott International,” said Sorenson.
“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.”
Transcending borders as well as market segments, Marriott International’s MEA growth over the next few years should see, among other key areas, its footprint increase in the priority markets of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia with almost half of the properties set to open, located in these two countries.
Within KSA, the hotel company expects to almost triple the size of its operations with the addition of over 4,000 rooms across 20 hotels by 2020, building upon its current 1800 rooms across eight properties.
Marriott International has also outlined its region-wide plan to strengthen the presence of its brand portfolio, particularly the Marriott Hotels brand.
This year alone, the MEA region will see more Marriott Hotels opening than any other Marriott International brand and along with it, the introduction of the brand into three new MEA destinations including Fez, Morocco, where a 224-room property is set to open, and Constantine, Algeria, where a 244-room Marriott Hotel is opening.
Rounding out the three new properties, the opening of the 426-room Marriott Hotel in Makkah in Saudi Arabia will also mark a significant milestone for the brand as its first-ever property in a holy city.
By 2020, the brand should see 20 Marriott Hotels open across the region.