Marriott looks forward to strong new year

Najjar … ‘Guests can expect a fresh look’

What is Marriott’s plan for 2005?
Marriott International has seven properties scheduled to open in the Middle East over the next 36 months.

The 2005 openings include a mid-priced 164-room Courtyard by Marriott, a deluxe Marriott Executive Apartments property in Dubai’s Green Community development and a 300-room Marriott Hotel & Resort at Aqaba in Jordan. In 2006, a 95-unit Marriott Executive Apartments property will open in Bahrain and in 2007 three hotels will open in Doha – 250-room Renaissance hotel, 200-room Courtyard property and a 120-unit Marriott Executive Apartments. $30 million renovation of the historic 1,130-room Cairo Marriott begins in 2005 with completion planned for mid-2006. Additionally, the Renaissance Alexandria hotel has recently reopened, following a complete renovation.

What’s the company’s strategy in the face of competition?
Marriott International is looking forward to a strong 2005 across its global portfolio. Our strategy for success remains constant. We focus on maintaining close contact with our customers and providing those products and services our customers tell us they need and want. Because of our extensive lodging portfolio, which offers hotels in all segments from the luxury tier to upper moderate, we are able to offer our clients a hotel product for every trip purpose at virtually every price point. In Dubai, for example, by mid-year, our hotel portfolio will offer lodging choices in the luxury, upscale/deluxe, extended stay and upper-moderate segments of the market, giving travellers a wide choice when making their selections. At the same time, we put a lot of emphasis on our strategic alliances, our vast general sales representative network, local market promotions, various distribution channels and, of course, our award-winning Marriott Rewards guest loyalty programme.

Is Marriott bullish about 2005? If yes, why?
While there are always challenges when you view a global portfolio like ours, overall Marriott International expects a strong 2005. There is a lot of pent-up demand and global economies are strengthening.

What can guests look forward to in the new year?
“Across the Marriott International hotel portfolio worldwide, guests can expect a fresh, updated look in the guest rooms, a strong emphasis on high speed internet access, sensitivity to healthy dining concerns whether the guest prefers low-fat, low-carb or low-sodium approaches; as well as initiatives targeted to the guest pre-arrival experience,” said Anton Najjar, area vice-president for Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.