Marriott targets 10,000 rooms in KSA by 2020

Chain observes potential for the market to 'more than double in size'

Marriott International president and managing director Middle East and Africa Alex Kyriakidis
Marriott International president and managing director Middle East and Africa Alex Kyriakidis

Marriott International is targeting 10,000 rooms in Saudi Arabia by 2020, which will more than double its current portfolio in the Kingdom.

Speaking at a breakfast briefing in Riyadh yesterday organised by the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), Marriott International president and managing director Middle East and Africa Alex Kyriakidis said the current lack of supply in the country meant there was a lot of potential for the hotel group to expand.

“KSA is a top priority growth market for Marriott International. STR report showed that the KSA room supply is around 50,000 operating rooms and a further 25,000 rooms under construction, which in total represents less than 1,875 rooms per million domestic and international travellers combined, a ratio which is significantly lower than mature markets,” said Kyriakidis.

“Our target is to grow our current portfolio of 4,056 operating and pipeline rooms to over 10,000 by 2020,” he revealed.

“With exponential growth projected for both inbound and domestic travel, driven by a number of large scale projects such as the expansion of the Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medinah as well as a number of economic/industrial cities throughout the country and large infrastructure projects such as railroads and airports, the potential of the KSA market is to more than double in size by 2020.”

Kyriakidis said Marriott has observed a “new generation” of hotel investors keen to develop their assets.

“Among our investors, we are seeing a new generation of analytical and business savvy entrepreneurs who have built up their own hospitality expertise and are also far more cautious since the economic crash about their investments demanding accountability, value, greater profitability and ROI from the partnership with the hotel operator.”

Debate on the Saudi Arabia hotel market will form a key focus at AHIC 2013, with a symposium of Saudi Arabia bringing together hotel wners, developers and investors.

AHIC, which is organised by Meed and Bench Events, will take place at the Madinat Jumeirah from May 5-6..

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