From the Future Hospitality Summit in Dubai, Marriott International, Inc. announced plans to expand its Middle East footprint with the expected addition of over 20 properties and more than 5,000 rooms across the Gulf countries over the next 15 months. The company’s growth in the region is fuelled by ongoing demand for its extraordinary portfolio of hotel brands across Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, and increased appetite from developers for conversions and adaptive reuse properties.
“The tourism industry in the Middle East continues to undergo significant growth in line with the long-term strategies of regional governments to diversify their economies,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “The reputation of Marriott International and our world-class brands, along with our long-established presence in the Middle East, continue to put us in a great position to contribute to the ongoing growth and diversification of the region’s tourism sector.”
Luxury Segment Spearheads Growth in Saudi Arabia, While Select Segment Maintains Momentum
With significant demand for luxury offerings in Saudi Arabia, particularly within the country’s ambitious developments such as the Red Sea Project and Diriyah Gate, Marriott International expects to enhance its portfolio with six additional luxury properties in the Kingdom by the end of 2023. The anticipated openings will debut the St. Regis and EDITION hotel brands in the country and introduce the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Middle East with the opening of Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Red Sea Project. Additionally, the company is responding to strong demand in the country for select service accommodation, with a new Four Points by Sheraton in Riyadh, and Courtyard by Marriott in Jubail expected to open in 2023.
Upswing in Tourism Demand Drives Growth in Qatar
Marriott International plans to nearly double its presence in Qatar with 10 anticipated additions over the next 15 months, 6 of which are slated to be unveiled ahead of this year’s global sporting spectacle. The expected additions will further diversify the company’s portfolio in the country with the anticipated debut of four brands – EDITION Hotels, Delta Hotels by Marriott, Element Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels. The company also expects to open its second St. Regis hotel in Qatar later this year, The St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island, The Pearl.
Continued Expansion in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Oman
Marriott International continues to see opportunities in the UAE to further expand its portfolio of more than 70 properties. This year, the company expects to cross a milestone of 50 properties in Dubai alone, with the anticipated additions of Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; Delta Hotels by Marriott Green Community, Dubai; and Four Points by Sheraton Production City, Dubai. Other notable additions expected by the end of 2023 include the debut of the St. Regis and Marriott Executive Apartments brands in Kuwait, and the entry of the Aloft Hotels brand in Oman.
Ongoing Demand for Conversions and Adaptive Reuse Projects
While much of the company’s growth in the region is through new-build developments, the company continues to see an increase in conversion opportunities, highlighting the demand for its sought-after brands in the region. There is also increased interest in the adaptive reuse space where developers are looking to convert existing buildings into hotel accommodations. Over 30 percent of the company’s anticipated property additions in the region by the end of 2023 are expected to come from conversions and adaptive reuse projects.
Chadi Hauch, Regional Vice President – Development, Middle East, Marriott International, commented, “As a company, we have developed a conversion-friendly platform that enables existing properties to quickly and cost-effectively access our world-class sales, distribution, and loyalty platforms to meet owner and guest demands.”
Marriott International’s current portfolio across the Middle East encompasses over 150 properties with more than 40,000 rooms across 21 brands, in 11 countries and territories.