When I was growing up in Washington and people came to visit, we always had to go to the top of the Washington Monument. From that view, 550 feet above the city, we could see a long way off and all the wonderful buildings in Washington. I’ve learned that the Washington Monument is only one-third the height of the Empire State Building. Wow!
Now, the new JW Marriott Marquis Dubai holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s tallest hotel. It’s just 75 feet shorter than the Empire State Building and almost three times taller than the Washington Monument. What an incredible event … an incredible building!
I reminded our staff that this isn’t our first world record. Our original hotel, the Marriott Twin Bridges Motor Hotel, which opened in 1957, was the largest motel – with 365 rooms – in the world. At least, we thought so. It also had a view – a view from the sixth floor – of the Capitol of the United States.
It’s humbling to think how it all started. Check-in was outside so the clerk could see how many guests were in the cars. Clerks would then take the guests to their room by bicycle. We had a Hot Shoppe restaurant, and very little else. Fast forward 56 years, and the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has 804 rooms, nine restaurants and five bars.
One day not long ago, I was driving by the oldest and second hotel in our system, the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. I turned to my daughter, Debbie, who worked there when she was in high school. I said, “Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come. I’m just blown away!”
As Marriott continues to expand globally, we invite everyone to “See The World,” and you can do that from the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. Enjoy the photos and this video of the grand opening. I’m sorry I can’t be there.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.