Marriott outlines Residence Inn expansion plans

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia properties to open by the end of the year

Residence Inn vice president Diane Mayer.
Residence Inn vice president Diane Mayer.

Marriott International has added seven more Residence Inn properties to its Middle East and Africa pipeline, as the company continues to focus on the extended stay segment in the region.

The company opened its first Residence Inn in the region in Bahrain in 2012 and has confirmed that its properties under the brand in Jizan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will open by the end of 2014.

In addition to this, it will open seven further properties in the region by 2018, including one in Nairobi and in Algeria. It is expected to release further details on the locations of these properties soon.

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Residence Inn vice president Diane Mayer said: “Across the region we see demand rising for this unique product and we are perfectly positioned with our expertise through the Residence Inn by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartment brands to serve the needs of this distinct group of travellers.

“Throughout this year and continuing into 2015, we will continue our efforts to boost the mid to long-term business traveller market which is seeing a boom across the Middle East and Africa.”

Mayer added that the company will add a further six Marriott Executive Apartments to its pipeline in the coming years situated in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Gabon, and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia which is due to open in 2015. Marriott International already operates six Marriott Executive Apartments across four countries in the region.

“Globally we expect more than 50% growth in four years for this brand with an increase from 24 properties to nearly 40 properties by 2016,” said Mayer.

“With major expansion planned in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the Marriott Executive Apartments brand is growing rapidly in emerging markets around the world.”

Speaking to Hotelier Middle East recently, Mayer explained the customer profile the company was targeting with the Residence Inn brand.

“Our target is the business traveller and that applies to the Middle East as well. In Saudi Arabia where they have larger families and they travel all together there might be more family travel there or people on a long tip for business who might choose to bring their family with them,” she explained.

“So that would be a very regional nuance so in Saudi Arabia our room mixes would probably be much higher; two bedrooms [and] relatively less studios than in Dubai.”

A key aspect of the growth of Residence Inn in the region is its place within ‘dual packs’, where it is connected to and shares some facilities with one or more properties within the Marriott portfolio. In Jizan the new Residence Inn will open alongside a Courtyard that is already operational, while in Algeria it will be alongside a Courtyard, Marriott full serve and Marriott Executive Apartments.

“We find that there is a lot of good efficiency from a financial perspective but also again from a guest’s perspective,” Mayer told Hotelier.

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