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Marriott (MAR) Plans to Open Hotels in UAE, Expand Footprint


Marriott International, Inc. MAR plans to add five new hotels in the United Arab Emirates. This year the company has added six new properties, extending its portfolio to 59 properties with over 17,000 rooms in the country.

Moreover, the company expects to debut its Edition brand in Abu Dhabi by year-end. Its Element Hotels brand was introduced in Dubai this year.

The openings underscore the company’s efforts to expand and position itself as the leading global hospitality company. Meanwhile, shares of Marriott have gained 1.8% in the past year, underperforming the industry’s rise of 13.3%.

Expansion Plans to Drive Growth

Marriott is striving to make a mark in international markets, especially in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. During the second quarter, the company added 10,900 rooms in international markets. Driven by robust demand for its select service brand, the company even aims to add more than 20 properties, extending its portfolio to more than 80 hotels in the United Arab Emirates by 2023.

That said, the company is positive about prospects in the country and is open for new partnerships and conversion opportunities in order to capitalize on the demand.

Per Alpen Capital's report, the hospitality market in the United Arab Emirates is likely to increase to $7.6 billion by 2022. Also, international tourist visits are expected to see a CAGR of 4.3% in the 2017-2022 period to 25.5 million.

Marriott’s extensive portfolio and a strong brand position enable it stay ahead of competitors. Given its property locations, we believe that the company is well-poised to benefit from the increasing market demand on the back of higher business and leisure travel.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Marriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the Consumer-Discretionary sector are Caleres, Inc. CAL, Belmond Ltd. BEL and Peak Resorts, Inc. SKIS, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Caleres has an expected current-year earnings growth rate of 15.7%.

Belmond has an expected current-year earnings growth rate of 58.3%.

Peak Resorts has an expected current-year earnings growth rate of 342.9%.

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