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07/10/2011

Marriott International Announces its First Two Hotels in Iraq

Both Are Planned to Open in Erbil in 2014

Erbil Marriott-MEA In ceremonies today at the newly inaugurated U.S. Consulate here, Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) signed agreements with Empire Iraq to manage a 200-room, upscale Marriott Hotels & Resorts-branded hotel and a 75-unit deluxe Marriott Executive Apartments property. Both are planned to open simultaneously in 2014. The addition of these two hotels, Marriott's first in Iraq, extends the company's hotel portfolio to 71 countries around the world.

The hotels will be part of a large mixed-use project called “Empire World,” now under construction that includes residential towers, private villas, office towers and retail and leisure space.  Located in Kurdistan in the northern part of Iraq, Erbil is the gateway to the region and is served nonstop from Europe and the Middle East by a number of international air carriers including Lufthansa, Etihad, Turkish, Royal Jordanian and Fly Dubai.

“Erbil is an encouraging destination with a lot of economic and commercial opportunity. Believed to be one of the oldest, continuously inhabited communities in the world, Erbil dates back to around 6000BC,” said Ed Fuller, president & managing director of international lodging for Marriott International.  “The city serves as a gateway to a region with vast deposits of oil and gas, fertile soil for agriculture and antiquities. We are pleased to be working with Empire Iraq on this prestigious project and look forward to doing what we can to help instill a sense of market confidence in terms of the area’s security. We are confident that this significant development will help the people of Erbil and Kurdistan achieve their positive visions of the future.”

“We are very excited to welcome Marriott to Empire World,” said Peshraw Agha, chairman of the board of Empire. “Marriott is the first truly global hotel brand to recognize the potential of Iraq and establish not one but two properties in Kurdistan. Empire World is an upscale, unique live, relax and work destination and we think that the Erbil Marriott and the Marriott Executive Apartments Erbil are true jewels in the development. Erbil is the center of growth in the area and Marriott’s commitment to these projects clearly indicates that Erbil has arrived as an international city befitting such prestigious and quality brands.”

The 200-room Erbil Marriott will provide a range of amenities, connectivity and services to help business travelers achieve their objectives. Its stylish interior will blend the latest in residential design, color and real comfort.  Recreational amenities will include an extensive fitness facility, an on-site spa and an outdoor swimming pool. 

The hotel’s four restaurants and lounges will focus on modern classics made with quality ingredients, featuring foundational cooking and updated presentations.  Guests will be able to choose among a casual all-day dining experience and two specialty restaurants, one of which will offer seasonal outdoor terrace seating. A lobby lounge, also offering seasonal terrace seating, will be part of a versatile, multi-purpose space that will serve as a social center for guests and local residents to meet with friends and colleagues, relax, or plug in their electronic devices any time, day or evening.  Other amenities will include an executive level, a business center, a lobby gift shop, 24-hour room service, in-room mini-bar and safes, flat screen TV, and internet connectivity.

For social events and conferences, the hotel will have 11,400 square feet of meeting space comprised of an 8,000 square-foot ballroom which will be divisible into three sections; three 800 square-foot interconnecting meeting rooms and two 500 square-foot board rooms.

Designed for extended stay travelers, the 75-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Erbil will offer the convenience of a five-star, full-service hotel with the space, ambience and privacy of residential living.  It will be located in a separate building adjacent to the hotel and, although its residents will be able to avail themselves of all the services and amenities offered by the Erbil Marriott, they will have their own leisure facilities, lobby and a residents’ lounge.  The property will offer a mix of studios, and one- and two-bedroom units—each with a fully equipped kitchen, contemporary furnishings, state of the art connectivity, flat screen television, a washer-dryer, maid service, on-site storage and other services.

The Erbil Marriott and the Marriott Executive Apartments Erbil will be Marriott International’s first two properties in Iraq.  The company is currently represented in the Middle East & Africa by more than 30 operating hotels and 40 additional properties now under construction or development that are scheduled to open in the region through 2016.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts is Marriott’s signature and most widely distributed brand, with more than 500 hotels and resorts in 54 countries.  Marriott continues to inspire performance and a balanced life on the road for discerning and high-achieving business and leisure travelers, offering warm, professional service; sophisticated yet functional guest room design; lobby spaces that facilitate working, dining and socializing; restaurants and bars serving international cuisine prepared simply and from the freshest ingredients; meeting and event spaces and services that are gold standard; and expansive, 24-hour fitness facilities. All Marriott hotels participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay.  For more information, visit www.MarriottHotels.com.  Follow Marriott Hotels & Resorts on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MarriottHotels.

Marriott Executive Apartments provides upscale accommodations for guests on extended stays of 30 days or longer outside the United States. Offering studios to three-bedroom apartments, they combine the comfort of residential living and the services of a Marriott hotel. Each property is influenced by local design elements and features state-of-the-art facilities and technology.  All Marriott Executive Apartments also participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program. For more information and reservations, visit www.marriottexecutiveapartments.com

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

Connect with june.farrell@marriott.com