Hotel merger will bring jobs boost to UAE
Starwood merger will see 6,000 new jobs in UAE
The merger between hotel giants Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide will result in the construction of 22 new hotels in the UAE alone.
The new properties – which will also bring 6,000 new jobs to the UAE – were confirmed by Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa for Marriott International, yesterday.
Kyriakidis said the new jobs will be created over the course of the next four years with a total of 30,000 being created in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.
The $13 billion acquisition of the Starwood group on Friday means Marriott International now counts hotels such as the Sheraton, Westin, W and St Regis in its portfolio.
Marriott International said the merger makes it the biggest hotel operator in the world.
Speaking at a news conference at Dubai’s JW Marriott Marquis, the company’s flagship hotel in the Middle East, Kyriakidis said he is confident about the future of the company.
“Each and every employee has a bigger and brighter future now,” he said.
“We are now by far and away the largest operator in the MENA area with 52,000 rooms.
“We are also leading the pack in the UAE and will have 80 properties there by 2025 with more than 23,000 rooms.
“At the moment there are 58 properties with 17,000 rooms.”
He said the merger with Starwood means Marriott International has taken a huge leap forward in terms of scale.
“This is a new and exciting era but the focus right now is on our people,” he said. “This company is going to be one of the most significant employers in the UAE. “There will be job opportunities for expats and strong prospects for locals as well.” He said that to merge the two companies and assimilate the different business models will cost Marriott International in the region of $140 million. “By doing the likes of replacing systems we will reduce costs by $250 million so there will be a better flow of synergies.” The merger was completed on Friday night. Kyriakidis described it as an opportunity that could not be missed. “I remember just one year ago us sitting around a room and being invited to pitch for the Starwood group,” he said. “It was incredible to see the reaction in the room. This was a once-in-alifetime opportunity to create the biggest and best hospitality company in the world.” Both Marriott and Starwood have their own loyalty programmes – with a combined membership worldwide of 85 million members. It has been confirmed that both schemes will remain intact – but customers will be able to interchange between the two.