x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

World's tallest hotel embroiled in legal battle with UAE partner

The same week that JW Marriott Marquis - the tallest hotel in the world - opened its doors in Dubai, a case was filed against the company for breach of contract.

DUBAI // The Marriott hotel chain is in a multimillion-dollar legal battle with its UAE business partner of 16 years.

When the US hospitality company launched Dubai’s J?W Marriott Marquis, the tallest hotel in the world, a case was filed in a Dubai court for breach of contract after it ended its involvement with Daboos Hospitality Services (DHS).

Last night marked the opening of the hotel, which is 77 floors and 355 metres tall.

Dubai Civil Court on Sunday heard the hospitality company had been instrumental in developing Marriott International’s portfolio in the GCC and Africa since 1997, and was the chain’s sole representative in the region until the end of last year.

Court records show DHS sponsored all Marriott employees in the region and was also in charge of marketing the chain’s services.

The UAE company was told on July 27 last year that its involvement would end on December 31.

Marriott said it would not offer any further compensation to DHS for the eight offices established in the GCC, Middle East and North Africa. DHS is claiming breach of contract and has asked the court to appoint an expert committee to review the records, contracts and history between the companies to establish the value of compensation.

Court records show DHS helped Marriott establish its Middle East and Africa offices in 1999.

They also show an agreement was signed in 2011 for DHS to handle all general sales in the GCC of Marriott properties.

The court has been presented with figures of cost of services provided by DHS, which include salaries, rooms sold and growth of market share between 2009 and 2011 – a total of Dh14.4 million.

The court has adjourned the hearing until March 6, for Marriott to present its response.