US-based lodging company Marriott International has signed a new property, Marriott Executive Apartments, in Doha, Qatar, in order to expand its presence in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

The 300-suite Marriott Executive Apartments is scheduled to open in 2019.

The company, which currently has around 150 properties in the MEA region across nine brands in 19 countries, is planning to open 17 new properties across the region this year.

Marriott International is also planning to open a combination of 10 new properties representing 4,600 rooms across UAE and Saudi Arabia between this year and next year.

In Saudi Arabia, the company has announced that 21 new hotels with around 4,200 rooms have been scheduled to open by 2025.

Marriott International Middle East and Africa president and managing director Alex Kyriakidis said: "We have ambitious plans for growth internationally, and the Middle East and Africa will play a large role in helping us achieve both our short-term and long-term targets.

"This year’s AHIC theme of ‘Eye on the Future’ is particularly timely as we feel that where there is change, there is also opportunity.

"What will determine success within the hotel and hospitality industry is the ability to capitalise on that change, identify the opportunities, and be nimble enough to leverage them."

Between now and 2025, the company also intends to expand its presence into eight new MEA countries, including Iraq, Gabon, Rwanda, Tunisia, Benin, Kenya, Libya and Mauritius.

By 2018, Marriott International is expecting to increase its team of Associates to 21,000 within the MEA region.

The company targets to open 245 hotels with nearly 44,000 operating and signed rooms by 2020 in the region.

Currently, it has more than 4,400 properties in 87 countries and territories.

Image: The 300-suite Marriott Executive Apartments is scheduled to open in 2019. Photo: courtesy of Marriott