Marriott International has predicted it will achieve 50% growth in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region by 2020, according to its president and chief executive officer, Arne Sorenson.
During a recent visit to Dubai for both the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), Sorenson outlined regional growth plans that anticipate 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 18 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 1 million rooms open or in development worldwide, with new hotels expected to create 150,000 new hotel jobs as they open.”
Sorenson, along with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, chairman of ASQ Hotels also announced the signing of the company’s newest property, in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, the Ras Al Khaimah Marriott Resort.
Due to open by 2019, the 300-room beach-front Marriott Hotel will be the first Marriott Hotels branded property in the emirate, reinforcing the company’s plan to increase its UAE footprint to 25 properties by 2020.
Along with key growth within the UAE and KSA and following last year’s acquisition of Protea Hospitality, Africa will also remain a key priority for the company with openings set to take place in Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Ethiopia and Rwanda in 2015.