Marriott becomes 4th international hospitality brand in Ethiopia


The international brand, Marriott International, joins the hospitality industry in Ethiopia as the fourth international brand in partnership with local associate, Sunshine Business PLC.
The ten story Marriott Executive Apartment Addis Ababa, located at the heart of the capital city on Jomo Kenyatta Street around Meskel Square, officially opened on Wednesday September 30 in the presence of President Mulatu Teshome (PhD), business community delegates  and regional officials of Marriott.  
At the press conference, Marriott officials said that the executive apartment will appeal to both business and leisure travelers, with 109 fully serviced suites, ambiance and privacy to equal a residential living facility.
Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa, said that Africa is important to Marriott International’s growth strategy due to its rapid economic growth, a growing middle class and the large population of youth, as well as the expansion of international flights onto the continent.
The apartments have rooms ranging from single rooms to three bedrooms, and include two penthouse presidential suites that span 400 square meters each. The property provides multi-function meeting rooms and over 160 square meters of events space. The facility is expected to turnover 300 million birr of revenue annually, according to the owner.
The USD 45.5 million establishment took time to build, in order to incorporate the standards of the Marriott, according to Samuel Taffese, President and Owner of Sunshine. The Executive Apartments is constructed on 2,300 square meters of land and has two basements.
Samuel, one of the most prominent local businessmen and the first local investor to own property under an international hospitality brand, said that his company now has the experience to build such high standard facilities in the future.
Sunshine, popular in the construction of roads and real estate has been involved in various private and government projects over the last 30 years.  The company recently turned to hospitality, investing in the hotel and tourism sector.
Sunshine, as part of its move towards the sector, has also made agreements with Marriott to open a five star Marriott Hotel in Bole, in the vicinity of  Bole International Airport. The Bole Marriott Hotel, set to open in 2019, will have 202 rooms, food and beverage services  and grand conference and events facilities that can accommodate  up to 1,100 people.  The new facility will rest on 4,000 square meters of land, and features  ten flats  and an additional three-deck basement. The hotel is estimated to cost USD 75.2 million, according to Sunshine officials.
The two facilities, Marriott Executive Apartment and the future Marriott Hotel, will are expected to create 600 job opportunities.
Kyriakidis told Capital that his company became interested in Ethiopia, attracted by the country’s  growth and its ascendance to becoming a hub of the continent.
“Worldwide, we have 750,000 rooms in operation, we have partners in real-estate that  we manage or use to franchise the hotels. So we invest in all of the infrastructural training, development, and clearly on how to operate  the hotels. We are satisfied with the facility that is established under our standard, brand and technology including beverage and food services,” Kyriakidis said.
He added that several discussions with potential partners are underway to introduce a number of Marriott’s brands. The company operates and franchises hotels under 19 brands, including Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, Edition, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, ExecuStay, and Marriott Executive Apartments.
The first international brand in Ethiopia, Hilton Addis Ababa was established  half a century ago across  the National Palace. The government has 30 percent stake in Hilton Addis Ababa.  The luxury facility built after Hilton, Sheraton Addis, is entirely owned by the Ethiopian born Saudi billionaire, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi. Rezidor Hotel Group, parent company of Radisson Blu Hotel, is the third international brand  in Ethiopia that opened in 2012, ten years after the opening of Sheraton Addis.
Marriott Executive Apartments Addis Ababa is the first executive apartment on the African continent operating under the Marriot brand. Marriott Hotels currently has four properties in North Africa, with more than 2,000 rooms. By 2020, the company expects to open an additional 12 properties in Africa, raising its room count by nearly 3,000.