Marriott International plans to expand its mid-tiered brand – Residence Inn, in the GCC countries, according to Diane R Mayer, the brand’s vice-president and global brand manager, as reported by Gulf News.
Residence Inn, which has one property in Bahrain, expects to have two more properties in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia this year, which are expected to open in September and November respectively. Another property in Saudi Arabia is set to open in 2018.
Residence Inn could also enter the Dubai market, according to Mayer. Marriott International plans to have 10,000 rooms in the emirate by 2020 compared to 2,700 rooms today.
Mayer said that in the region 40% of business travel demand is extended stay versus 30% in the US. She added that many visitors to the region go on long-haul flights, which encourages them to stay longer. Residence Inn has 20 hotels in the pipeline for the Middle East and Africa, which are likely to open in the next two to three years.
Residence Inn’s revenue touched US$2.7 billion (AED9.9 bn) in 2013, which is expected to grow by five to eight per cent this year. Marriott Executive Apartments’ regional pipeline consists of five properties in the UAE and three properties in Saudi Arabia, which are likely to open by 2018.