Marriott plans big Jeddah launch in 2016
Dubai, May 2, 2013
Marriott International has registered solid growth in the Middle East and Africa region with 11 signings in the last 12 months, the latest being the 370-room luxury tier JW Marriott Hotel Jeddah, scheduled to open in 2016.
This announcement brings the total number of announced hotels joining Marriott International’s Middle East and Africa portfolio by 2017 to 45, adding a total of 10,875 rooms to its systemm, said a top official on the eve of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).
JW Marriott Jeddah represents its eighth signed property in Saudi Arabia and is indicative of its aggressive growth plans for the region. It comes close on the heels of two recently signed hotels, the JW Marriott Casablanca and JW Marriott Doha, remarked Alex Kyriakidis, the president and managing director of Marriott International, MEA, ahead of the May 5-6 event.
Since arriving in the region with the 1980 opening of the 391-room Riyadh Marriott Hotel, Marriott has established a regional network of 42 properties in 12 countries, offering 12,237 rooms and spanning seven lodging brands, including JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Residence Inn by Marriott to name a few.
"Marriott opened its first hotel in the MEA 33 years ago and has since invested heavily in the region and built on its heritage to become one of the biggest hotel operators. In terms of the long-term growth prospects for the company, we are bullish," stated Kyriakidis.
Key to the hotelier’s growth has been its strategic approach to drive expansion, said Kyriakidis.
The signature Marriott Hotels and Resorts brand is developing even further in North Africa through its recently announced Rabat Marriott Hotel in Morocco and the Constantine Marriott Hotel, both opening in 2015.
Marriott International has played a significant role in fuelling regional travel – the number of visitors expected to rise from over 70 million in 2011 to 195 million by 2030.
"On a regional level, hospitality sector continues to go from strength to strength, with our exceptional RevPar and room occupancy rates making a significant mark. Our system has never looked better, and with a number of recent signings and more to come in 2013, Marriott will be perfectly placed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the region. We also plan to hire over 12,000 associates over the next five years in order to meet the needs of our growing portfolio," he added.
New figures that highlight Marriott International’s remarkable regional development include the announcement of nine Marriott Hotels and Resorts across the MEA region with 2744 rooms.
According to Kyriakidis, Marriott's focus for the coming months will be its expansion in the extended stay segment, with its Residence Inn and Marriott Executive Apartments brands.
"Extended stay is a key area for expansion due to the increasing number of mid-term visitors to the region, be it for business or for pleasure. Substantial spike in demand for these unique products will play a major role in driving the company’s development in the region," said the top official.
Residence Inn and Marriott Executive Apartments will be opening ten extended stay hotels, consisting of 1,062 rooms by 2017, with Residence Inn Jazan, Saudi Arabia and Marriott Executive Apartments Zabeel Dubai slated to open later this year.
Scheduled for May 5, Kyriakidis will join a panel of industry peers from Hilton, IFA, Starwood and IHG to discuss the lodging landscape and the strategic challenges facing the industry today at AHIC.
On the agenda are set to be some of the hottest topics around including: Management contracts, technology trends, building for a new generation of travelers and the importance of putting people first, a hallmark of Marriott’s success in the region.
Kyriakidis also highlighted the company’s future innovation plans, with a particular focus on its flagship brand – Marriott Hotels & Resorts.
“We are designing hotels for a new generation of business travellers who blend work and play, demand style and substance, and desire the best in innovative technology. As a leader in hospitality, Marriott Hotels & Resorts understands that as the global customer changes, so must its offering."
"As such, we are transforming nearly every aspect of the brand – the Great Room, guest rooms, F&B, meetings, amenities and service – to position it as the preferred lodging choice for the next generation traveler,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service