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Appreciating Our Marriott Associates in the Middle East

Posted:04/28/2008 1:30 PM
Dubai-creek I just completed an exciting week in the Middle East visiting Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, which is in Qatar, and Bahrain.  We now have 29 hotels here in the Middle East and we have an exciting plan to add 35 more in the next three years.

I met with many owners, developers and political people over here, and I could not believe the tremendous amount of development that's going on.  Dubai has the largest amount of construction of any city in the world, as far as I can tell.  Thirty-four percent of all the construction cranes in the world are located in Dubai.  Everywhere you look, there's a new high rise building going up.

And Abu Dhabi's not far behind.  Abu Dhabi is planning on tearing down warehouses and building a whole new city right on the waterfront.  They're building new entertainment areas, new hotels and new office buildings.  The incredible development over here is just beyond belief.

I was also able to visit Bahrain and Doha.  Doha, although a little late coming on, is also coming on very, very strong.  They're building a whole new city and lots of new residential areas and we've got some wonderful Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard hotels here, of which I'm very proud, as well as some Marriott Executive Apartments.

It was wonderful to see our owners and also, particularly, our associates.  We had a big associate party.  We had all our associates from all the brands in Dubai at a picnic.  The associates were all dressed in the colors of their brands.  The Ritz-Carlton people had dark blue and black shirts on, the Courtyard people had their green Courtyard shirts on, the associates from Marriott had red on and the associates from Renaissance had maroon shirts on.  There were at least 500 who greeted me with a rousing welcome.  We all sat down and had hamburgers together and it's wonderful to see the enthusiasm of our people.

Some people think the United States is the melting pot of the world.  Well, one of our hotels over here has 59 different nationalities working in one hotel.  Thank goodness English is the common language among most people here and they're able to communicate.  Everyone is enthusiastic and everyone is excited.

I'm Bill Marriott and we're moving Marriott here in the Middle East.  Thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Appreciating Our Marriott Associates in the Middle East


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More than Doubling Marriott Hotels in the Middle East

Posted:04/23/2008 1:49 PM
Signing In Dubai they say, "If you build it, they will come." The skyline and development in this city is absolutely mind-boggling and the hotel scene is really booming. Dubai is now a top tourist destination and thirty percent of Dubai's GDP comes from travel and tourism. They really get it when it comes to understanding the importance of travel and tourism.

I was in Dubai 35 years ago and it was a sleepy Arab town on the Gulf. I remember meeting with the ruler, who was a wonderful man. His office was very sparse and simple, but I do remember vividly that one of his military aides stood in the room the whole time with a hooded falcon on his sleeve.

Back then, there were only two hotels in Dubai. Tourism was starting to find Dubai and the ruler asked me if we could bring a small cruise ship and put it on the creek so they'd have enough hotel rooms for people in Dubai. My, how things have changed today. It is really an amazing story.

Other CEOs like me from travel and tourism companies - large and small - have converged on this 21st century city for the annual World Travel and Tourism Global Summit. We've been discussing issues, challenges and opportunities within the travel and tourism industry.

And I've been touring a lot of our Marriott hotels in the region, just like I do on all my trips. On these hotel visits, I try to inspect the properties and visit with our people. I was even lucky enough to be invited to a barbecue with all of our Marriott associates who work in Dubai.

The number of hotels we have in the Middle East is growing rapidly from luxury Ritz-Carltons and JW Marriotts to Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments. In the next three years, we expect to open 15 new properties in the United Arab Emirates alone and more than 30 in the entire Middle East region. This will more than double the number of properties we already have in the region. In fact, our entire international pipeline has never been larger.

The leaders of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have all invested heavily in travel and tourism and it's bringing great prosperity to their countries. It shows what happens when governments recognize the importance of tourism and work with businesses to develop it.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

More Than Doubling Marriott Hotels in the Middle East


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We Are All Guests

Posted:04/20/2008 9:23 PM
CICarbonCalculator On this planet, we're all visitors, or guests. I prefer guests because that's what the people who visit our hotels are. I think we get it at Marriott. Green is certainly the new business imperative. Scientists have argued pretty convincingly how climate change is caused by the release of man-made greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and it's fueled by the burning of fossil fuels. Every one of us produces carbon in our daily lives. But fortunately, there's a lot we can do to minimize our carbon footprint and that's what we've been doing at Marriott.
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Dressing for Success at the Marco Island Marriott Resort

Posted:04/17/2008 5:46 PM
DavidMarriottResortVisitCaptioned After 52 years in the business, one thing I've learned is go south in the winter and north in the summer to visit hotels. One of my favorite places to go, of course, is southern Florida.

In February, we had our board meeting at our Marriott resort in Marco Island, Florida. That property just underwent a huge renovation - almost $200 million worth. Now they have a fantastic spa that features Balinese treatments, they have eight terrific restaurants and brand new swimming pools. The rooms have all been redone, they've got a brand new ballroom - it's really a fabulous property.
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At the Movies with The Ritz-Carlton

Posted:04/11/2008 4:57 PM
Ritz-movie-capture As you know, I love movies. Not long ago, I got to go to a first of its kind movie premiere. This wasn't just any premiere. It was the debut of a trio of short films from Ritz-Carlton and American Express.
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Addressing Climate Change

Posted:04/07/2008 6:03 PM
Braga-Marriott-Viana I'm here at the Amazonia exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I'm surrounded by the flora and fauna of the rainforest, including a two-toed sloth and some poison arrow frogs.

I'm really excited, so let me jump right into it. Our company and the Brazilian state of Amazonas just signed an agreement to protect 1.4 million acres of endangered Amazon rainforest. We're committing $2 million. The money will fund an environmental management plan administered by the newly created Amazonas Sustainable Foundation. We've been told this is the first partnership of its kind between the public sector and a corporation to prevent deforestation, which we know results in global warming. We hope other companies will follow our lead.
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Moving Up from Waitress to Pastry Chef

Posted:04/04/2008 2:18 PM
ChefsJonEspelage&LucyMartin &AsimIbrahim I recently visited our 22 year old Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. We just opened the world's largest pillar-less ballroom and we have several new restaurants where I met Pastry Chef Lucy Martin. Lucy cooked some really great desserts for me.
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Check Out the New Courtyard Hotel Lobby

Posted:04/01/200812:54 PM

LobbyScreenGrab-captioned One of the things I love about my job is being part of the creative design team.  I'm a frustrated interior designer I guess.  I love color and I love to fiddle around with the designs.

I'm pleased to say that these days we're taking a bolder approach to our hotel lobby designs.  We're designing them the way guests want to use our lobby and it's changed a lot.  It seems that lobbies have become the hub for work and play.

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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