Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Hotel firms Marriott and Hilton to expand in Middle East

Marriott to add 100 hotels by 2023, and Hilton to open 100 hotels in five years

Facade view of the JW Marriott Marquis hotel in Dubai's Business Bay. The hotel will cease operations from May 12. Courtesy JW Marriott Marquis
Facade view of the JW Marriott Marquis hotel in Dubai's Business Bay. The hotel will cease operations from May 12. Courtesy JW Marriott Marquis

Two international hotel operators separately said they plan to expand in the Middle East and Africa over the next five years, as part of strategies to build their regional development pipelines.

Marriott International plans to add 100 new hotels, totalling around 26,000 rooms, across the region by 2023, while Hilton expects to open another 100 hotels in the next five years.

“This region continues to present us with opportunities to further grow and enhance our portfolio across new and established markets,” said Jerome Briet, chief development officer, Middle East and Africa, at Marriott International, in a statement to the company on Monday.

“While the majority of our growth will be through new-builds, we are seeing an increasing number of conversion opportunities, especially in the luxury space.”

Year-to-date, the company has opened five new properties in the region and is expected to add 14 more this year, bringing its portfolio across MEA to nearly 270 properties and 60,000 rooms by the end of 2019 – a 45 per cent increase in its regional portfolio with estimated investment of $8 billion from property owners.

The 2019 openings include four planned premium hotels, including the Autograph Collection’s Sankara debut in Nairobi, Kenya; Marriott Executive Apartments in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, following a hotel opening in Riyadh earlier this year; and a second property in Algeria.

The company also plans to upgrade its Sheraton hotel brand globally, with renovations planned for the Sheraton Jeddah and Sheraton Grand Dubai, it said.

New York-listed Hilton, meanwhile, plans to open 100 hotels mainly in markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt in the next five years.

The plans equate to around $9bn of investment by Hilton’s development partners, including four new signings. These are, the Hampton by Hilton Kuwait Salmiya; Canopy by Hilton Al Khobar the Avenues; Embassy Suites by Hilton Dubai Business Bay, and Hilton Gardern Inn Dubai Business Bay.

Hilton currently operates 64 hotels across the Middle East and North Africa and expects to see continued demand for its brands, with a particular focus on the mid-market segment, it said on Monday.

In addition, Hilton will open a Waldorf Astoria in Dubai later this year, and three new properties in Ras Al Khaimah.

Updated: April 8, 2019 07:02 PM

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