July 25, 2024


Travel Finishes First

Marriott nabs UAE conversion quartet

Marriott International Inc has signed a deal with hotel management firm RDK Tourism Investment to open four properties in the UAE.

The signings are expected to further enhance the chain’s footprint in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with the addition of more than 700 rooms across its Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Executive Apartments and Autograph Collection Hotels brands.

Abu Dhabi first

All four hotels are expected to be converted from existing properties operated by RDK Tourism Investment.

The company’s flagship brand, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, is anticipated to open its first resort in Abu Dhabi with Marriott Mirfa Resort, Abu Dhabi. Situated on the coast of the Al Dhafra region in the fishing town of Mirfa, the resort will be designed to exemplify the brand’s continued evolution and feature contemporary and intuitive spaces.

The Autograph Collection Hotels portfolio is set to expand in the UAE with the anticipated opening of Liwa Hotel, Autograph Collection, Abu Dhabi. Situated in the capital’s largest oasis, the Liwa Oasis, the property is expected to offer a desert experience with 66 guestrooms and suites, including three expansive three-bedroom villas.

Extended stay expansion

Marriott Executive Apartments will continue to cater to the rapidly growing demand for extended stay accommodations in the UAE with anticipated openings in Abu Dhabi’s Al Reem Island and Dubai’s Al Barsha South. Upon its expected opening in 2024, Marriott Executive Apartments Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, is slated to offer 147 one- and two-bedroom apartments along with multiple facilities including a fitness centre, pool, kids club and multiple dining options.

Set to open in 2023, located in the Dubai Science Park which is home to businesses in the science, energy and environmental sectors, Marriott Executive Apartments Al Barsha South, Dubai is anticipated to feature 411 apartments, townhouses and penthouses as well as five food and beverage experiences spread across three towers.

Conversion-friendly platform

Marriott International’s chief operating officer, Middle East, Sandeep Walia, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our collaboration with RDK Tourism Investment and expand our portfolio of properties in the UAE. We look forward to building on this relationship and supporting the overall growth of the tourism sector in the UAE.”

The firm’s regional vice president – development, Middle East, Chadi Hauch, added: “As a company, we have developed a conversion-friendly platform and these new deal signings are a testament to the trust owners have in Marriott International and the reputation of our world-class brands. The UAE remains an important growth market for the company, and we continue to see opportunities to further diversify our portfolio in this market.”

RDK Group chairman, Rashid Darwish Ahmed Saif Al Ketbi, commented: “We look forward to further cementing our relationship with Marriott International as part of our aim to expand our hospitality portfolio in the region. The four properties aim to contribute to the local economic development of upcoming tourism destinations in the UAE, in line with our investment ambitions as a company to develop landmark projects that cater to guests at the highest international standards.”

UAE slate

Marriott International’s portfolio in the UAE currently consists of 75 properties with more than 21,000 rooms across 20 brands.

Also in the pipeline are 320-key The Ritz-Carlton Saadiyat Island, landing in Abu Dhabi in Q1 2023; Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah, adding 300 rooms to the northern Emirate’s capacity; and Khorfakkan Hotel, an Autograph Collection Hotel, a 75-key site coming online in Sharjah in 2024.