Marriott International plans to open properties in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, and UAE by 2016, for a total of 40 new hotels.
“We plan to open three hotels later this year in Qatar. As we move forward into next year, we expect to experience gathering strength when we open a stunning Renaissance hotel in Tlemcen, Algeria, and a beautiful, luxurious JW Marriott hotel in Tripoli,” said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott International. “Both will be our first properties in their respective countries,” he added.
According to Fuller, the opening of its regional office last fall in Dubai had energized Marriott’s focus on Africa. Today, the group’s Middle East/Africa portfolio comprises 28 operating hotels, including five Ritz-Carlton properties.
“The dynamic nature of tourism in the Middle East and the strong emergence of Africa as a viable destination for business and leisure travel are evident. We expect both to play an important role in our strategies in the long-term future,” he remarked.
Marriott currently has two additional properties planned for Algeria: the 227-room Algiers Marriott and the 180-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Algiers, both of which are expected to open in 2012.
Recently, the company had signed management contracts for the 204-room Renaissance Tlemcen in Algeria, which is set to open next January. The hotel, owned by Societe d’Investissement Hotelier, will be the first Marriott-flagged hotel in Algeria and the only international standard hotel in Tlemcen.
“As the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Capital of Islamic Culture Designee for 2011, all eyes will be on Tlemcen, Algeria, in the coming year,” he said.
The Renaissance Tlemcen will be located on the Lalla Setti plateau overlooking the city, approximately a 15-minute drive from the city center. The area features an artificial lake, children’s playgrounds, a promenade on the edge of the plateau overlooking the city, and a 30-meter high observatory.
The 237-room Kigali Marriott Hotel in Rwanda, which opens in 2012, is owned by New Century Development and will be Marriott’s first property in Rwanda. The Kigali Marriott, a 20-minute drive away from the airport, will be centrally located near major office centers, embassies, and Parliament.
“There’s no denying that the past year in the Middle East and Africa has had its challenges,” said Fuller. “However, we are seeing pockets of resurgence throughout the region both in terms of new hotel development and in occupancies.”.
On its new Dubai project, Fuller said the construction on the landmark JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai was coming along right on schedule with its first 807 rooms due to open in 2012.