US-based luxury hotels group Marriott International will open several new properties across the Middle East, building on its growing portfolio of hotels in the region.
Opening this year are:
310-room Taba Marriott Hotel & Beach Resort on the Red Sea in Egypt;
425-room JW Marriott Hotel Mirage City, Cairo in Egypt;
216-room Jordan Valley Marriott Resort at the Dead Sea in Jordan;
168-room Renaissance Golden View Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; and
150-room Madinah Marriott Hotel in Saudi Arabia.
The planned new openings build on the launch of the Marriott Executive Apartments in Dubai in January this year and the openings of the Tunis Renaissance last October; the Ramada Qurum Beach in Oman and the Petra Marriott in Jordan in December.
Marriott International which began operations in the Middle East/Africa region in 1980 with the opening of the 395-room Riyadh Marriott in Saudi Arabia, today has 26 properties in 11 countries.
The group offers a total of 7,501 rooms spanning four lodging brands including Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites and Renaissance Hotels, Resorts & Suites in the quality tier, Ramada International Hotels and Resorts and Marriott Executive Apartments.
By the end of 2004, the Marriott International portfolio will grow to 33 hotels, offering 9,380 rooms across five lodging brands in 12 countries.
The opening of the 92-room Ramada Hotel Qurum Beach marked the entry of the brand in the Sultanate, joining Ramada hotels in Dubai, Doha and Bahrain.
The hotel which is located between the airport and the main business district close to the Al Qurum beach offers 73 double rooms, 17 one-bedroom suites and two two-bedroom suites.
For dining and entertainment, there will be a coffee shop and a specialty restaurant. Other amenities include a gift shop, fitness centre and sauna.
In Tunisia, the opening of the Renaissance Tunis Hotel also marked the addition of the first Marriott-branded hotel in the country.
Owned by SociŽtŽ Aphrodite de Gestion H(tm)teliŽre, the 223-room Renaissance Tunis Hotel is conveniently located 20 minutes away from the Tunis-Carthage International Airport.
The beachfront hotel overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and is close to the Carthage Roman ruins, the picturesque Village of Sidi Bou Sa•d and the business district.
Most rooms have water views, while all feature private balconies, climate control, voice mail, two phone lines with data port connections and satellite TVs.
The property also offers retail shops, a hair salon, 24-hour room service, two club floors with Internet access, a business centre, laundry and dry cleaning, a car hire and rental desk and an airport shuttle.
The hotel offers a private beach, two outdoor pools, a heated indoor pool, a Turkish bath, a lighted tennis court, table tennis, fitness center and sauna, massage and water sports.
For dining and entertainment, guests can choose from five restaurants.
The group has also been active on the sales front with several promotions launched to help Marriott ride the wave.
"We have been very busy on the sales front, with the Motorola promotion, regional sales meetings, the Canon promotion for travel agents," said Samir Daqqaq, vice president, worldwide sales for the region.
"We are planning a major sales blitz for Saudi in March, when we will visit even the smaller cities to thank customers and get more custom."
The Canon promotion launched in association with Canon Middle East provides incentives to travel agents to book Marriott Hotels.
The promotion announced by Marriott Global Sales offers prizes to travel agents who have completed Marriott's Hotel Excellence! travel agent training programme.
Every time a travel agent makes five reservations with Marriott hotels, he/she gets a $5 Canon voucher which can be redeemed for a range of Canon products. It runs until April 15.