Dubai – MENA Herald: Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) has continued to pursue an ambitious growth strategy across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region announcing an impressive 14 new property signings so far in 2016. The signings will add to Marriott International’s current operating portfolio of 147 hotels in 20 countries across the Middle East and Africa, with the company also confirmed to open 11 new properties across the region by the end of this year.
The latest collection of signings will see Marriott International expand its Middle East footprint by eight properties across the UAE, Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait, encompassing the Marriott Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, Residence Inn by Marriott and Protea Hotels by Marriott brands. The company has also announced further growth to its African pipeline with the signing of six new properties under the JW Marriott Hotels, Autograph Collection and Protea Hotels by Marriott brands.
“Our 2016 property signings further illustrate the scale of our ambition to expand as a leading travel company within the Middle East and Africa as well as internationally,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa of Marriott International. “This is driven by a clear objective to increase representation in all major gateway cities, commercial centers and established resort destinations while catering to a wide variety of market segments. Each of Marriott International’s brands, including those hotels in ourpipeline, target a specific segment and support the increased inflow of travelers into the hotel’s location.
Within the Middle East, Marriott International currently operates a total of 40 properties spanning eight brands. Today’s announcement will add a further five properties to Marriott International’s UAE presence as well as one property each in Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait.
In Africa, Marriott International’s acquisition of Protea Hospitality Holding in 2014 is continuing to yield positive returns as the company signs a further six hotels in 2016 adding 1,040 rooms to its Africa pipeline. That pipeline will include two properties in Uganda and one property each in Nairobi, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. Amongst the signed properties is a JW Marriott brand hotel in Nairobi and an Autograph Collection hotel in South Africa.
“Today Africa is particularly important to Marriott International’s expansion strategy because of the continent’s rapid economic growth, widening middle class and youth population, as well as the increase of international flights into the continent,” added Alex Kyriakidis. “With over 850 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are enormous opportunities there.”
Aside from the 14 new property signings in 2016, Marriott International has also confirmed that 11 new properties are set to open across the Middle East and Africa in Q4 2016. This will include Al Forsan Marriott Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Fes Marriott Hotel in Morocco, Accra Marriott Hotel in Ghana, La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk, Dubai, Autograph Collection; Lapita Hotel Dubai, Autograph Collection; Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Olaya in Saudi Arabia, and Renaissance Lagos Ikeja Hotel in Nigeria.
By 2020, Marriott International plans to add a further 74 properties and approximately 16,169 rooms within the Middle East and Africa region bolstering its total regional footprint to 221 properties and 40,816 rooms.