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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Al Habtoor relieves Marriott International of three Dubai hotel operations

US firm will cease all involvement with The St Regis Dubai, W Dubai Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City

Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, wants WhatsApp calls to be available in the UAE. Antonie Robertson / The National
Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, wants WhatsApp calls to be available in the UAE. Antonie Robertson / The National

US hospitality major Marriott International, the largest international hotel operator in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), will no longer manage three hotels in Dubai after reaching an agreement with the owner of the properties Al Habtoor Group.

Marriott will cease all involvement with The St Regis Dubai, W Dubai Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City, from the end of this month, Al Habtoor said in a statement yesterday.

These hotels will no longer be part of the St Regis, W Hotels and Westin Hotels global brand portfolios, it said.

Marriott operates some 55,000 rooms across 19 brands in the MEA region including Bulgari, JW Marriott Hotels, Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, Aloft Hotels, Autograph Collection, Courtyard by Marriott, Le Meridien, Renaissance Hotels and Sheraton.

“We maintain a strong and friendly relationship with Marriott International,” said the chairman of Al Habtoor Group, Khalaf Al Habtoor.

“This decision marks the start of a new era for Habtoor Hospitality as we focus more on strengthening our own brands and expanding our hotel-management portfolio.”

The company described the move as a “mutual decision reached amicably between the parties”. After July 31, the management of these hotels will be transferred to the owning company, it added.

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“The UAE continues to be a key growth market for us ... As a company we continue to explore and discuss opportunities that are in line with our overall growth strategy,” said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, MEA for Marriott International.

“Al Habtoor Group continues to be an important partner of Marriott International. We value the relationship and thank them for their partnership, wishing them all the very best in their future endeavours.”

Marriott said it is on track to increase its portfolio in the region to over 380 hotels – an increase of more than 50 per cent over the next five years. Also in line with its development plans, Marriott expects to add 30,000 new jobs across the region by 2023.