UAE-based Al Habtoor group and Marriott International have said that they have agreed to end Marriott’s management of three hotels at the Al Habtoor City complex in Dubai.
The two companies said in separate press statements issued on Tuesday that Marriott’s management of the hotels – the St Regis Dubai, W Dubai Habtoor City and the Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City – will cease at the end of this month (July 31). The three hotels at Al Habtoor City, which contain more than 1,600 rooms combined, according to its website, were opened in soft launch phases from November 2015 to September 2016. The three hotels were officially opened in December 2016.
Representatives from both groups said in separate statements that good relations will remain between the two entities.
“We maintain a strong and friendly relationship with Marriott International,” said the chairman of Al Habtoor Group, Khalaf Al Habtoor, in its statement to the media on Tuesday. “This decision marks the start of a new era for Habtoor Hospitality as we focus more on strengthening our own brands and expanding our hotel management portfolio.”
Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International in the Middle East and Africa, said in its statement that “Al Habtoor Group continues to be an important partner of Marriott International”.
“We value the relationship and thank them for their partnership, wishing them all the very best in their future endeavours,” said Kyriakidis.
“The UAE continues to be a key growth market for us and our momentum of growth in this market demonstrates the trust owners have in our compelling brands and their interest to tap into Marriott International’s distribution, network and globally recognised loyalty program. As a company we continue to explore and discuss opportunities that are in line with our overall growth strategy,” he added.
Both statements said that the two groups “are working closely together to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for associates, clients and partners”.
Marriott International said it is the biggest international hotel operator in the Middle East and Africa, operating over 245 hotels, according to a fact sheet issued with its statement.
An official from Al Habtoor group told Zawya that other partnerships with the Marriott will continue.
“Al Habtoor group’s partnership with Marriott International with three other properties: Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, (in) Dubai and Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, (in) Vienna, and The Ritz-Carlton, (in) Budapest remains,” Noura Badawi, chief communications officer in Al Habtoor Group said.
Marriott International did not immediately respond to further questions from Zawya.
(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Michael Fahy)
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