Neal Jones. Neal Jones.

Marriott International chief sales and marketing officer, Middle East and Africa Neal Jones revealed that the mega-operator will increase its brand footprint from 19 brands across the Middle East and Africa to 23 over the next few years.

Jones noted: "We have 243 properties open and operational across the Middle East Africa; that’s 54,818 rooms across 19 brands."

He confirmed that the UAE, Egypt, South Africa and Saudi Arabia are its biggest markets, with 50 open in the UAE — out of which 34 are in Dubai alone, with 21 in the pipeline just for the city.

"In terms of brands, we operate 19 across the Middle East & Africa today. We will be introducing another four over the next three years so that will take us to 23 brands as part of our strategy around brand growth and general growth across two continents. In terms of pipeline, we’ll be opening another 130 hotels as of today; we expect that number to increase, that’s about 30,000 rooms between now and 2025-2026."

In the UAE, he confrmed the  Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will open in October, with the Bvlgari Resort and Residences Dubai set for December this year. He added that the W Dubai - The Palm is "progressing nicely", and will be opening "relatively early next year".

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