Marriott International , a leading hotel group with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories worldwide, will pursue its global expansion strategy with a special focus on the Middle East and Africa region, said Vladimir Dabbah, Vice President Global Sales, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International.
Talking to Kuwait Times in an interview, Dabbah gave an overview of the group's expansion plan and outlined the group's customer-oriented strategy across its 18 renowned global brands. Marriott International began its operations in the Middle East and Africa in 1980 with the opening of the 391-room Riyadh Marriott Hotel in Saudi Arabia. "As a business group, we continue to look at opportunities to grow our existence as a brand in the Middle East and Africa. We currently operate 18 different brands globally and have 3,800 properties. We have 42 hotels in the MENA region alone. And another 45 hotels will become operational over the next few years. The new properties will add 10,875 rooms to the Marriott International 's portfolio," Dabbah informed.
The company currently has a regional presence in 12 countries, offering 12,919 rooms and spanning seven lodging brands: JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and the Ritz-Carlton in the luxury tier; Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Renaissance Hotels in the upscale, quality tier; Courtyard by Marriott Hotels and Residence Inn by Marriott in the quality tier and the upscale Marriott Executive Apartments for extended stay travelers. "In the next couple of years, we will be opening new hotels in Kuwait and Dubai including 143- unit Residence Inn by Marriott in Kuwait City. Currently we operate 313-room JW Marriott Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott in Kuwait City in addition to one of our flagship properties in Kuwait, Marriott International ," he said. "In Dubai, we plan to open two new hotels by the end of this year.
Last year, we opened JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, in Dubai, which is the world's tallest hotel," Dabbah said.
Located in the heart of Business Bay, the 355-metre JW Marriott Marquis Hotel was officially recognized by the Guinness World Record as the world's tallest hotel. The iconic five-star hotel has a height that is almost half or 43 percent of the height of Burj Khalifa. "We have additional plans to grow further in Dubai in the next few years," he added.
Marriott Hotels & Resorts is positioned for further global growth, with 75 hotels in the pipeline for development by 2016, 12 in North America and 63 in four international regions. As a hospitality industry, the hotel group is vigorously embarking on its promotional programs as well offering a wide range of culinary options, excellent lodging, dedicated event services and planning and transport. "We announce promotions constantly and they vary from market-to-market. Recently we launched a dedicated site for our Arabic customers. The site arabic. marriott.com helps us regularly communicate with our customers. The site offers a unique online experience in Arabic to our customers," he explained.