Marriott on the Move

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More than Doubling Marriott Hotels in the Middle East

Posted: April 23, 2008 01:49:42 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


Comments

Posted By: Hank Mancini (04/24/2008 at 06:03 AM)
Comment:

As a Marriott fan and shareholder I am always glad to see Marriott open, or plan to open, new hotels anywhere. I continue to wonder why Marriott has such a small presence in Japan?

Posted By: Arnold (04/29/2008 at 04:41 AM)
Comment:

Mr. Marriott,
Huge fan of yours!! Why not try to have a hotel in the Amazon catered to guests that look for 'green' destinations only? Have in place program to educate kids about the environment, animals, conservation, etc . All that plus the great Marriott service if the guest just want to relax and enjoy the view!!! Besides the Amazon Brazil has tremendous locations in the Pantanal ideal for eco-tourism but with no hotel rooms.
God bless, wish well.

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

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