Marriott International announced the appointments of two senior officials to support the growing market demand in the company’s largest regional market, the UAE.
Seasoned Marriott International professionals Gerrit Graef and Sandeep Walia will take on the positions of Area Vice President Premium & Select Brands and Area Vice President Luxury Brands in the United Arab Emirates respectively. The appointments come as the hotel operator recently opened the doors to its 59th property in the UAE – with 42 of those as premium and select brands, and 17 positioned as luxury brands.
The appointments reflect the company’s new strategic direction to split its diverse portfolio into ‘Premium & Select’ and ‘Luxury’ brands. Marriott International’s move to separate its portfolio has been made specifically to meet the market demands of a diversifying travel and tourism sector in the UAE.
In his position of Area Vice President Premium & Select Brands, United Arab Emirates, Graef will oversee the UAE Premium and Select brands hotel portfolio. After working at Marriott International for over 22 years, he has taken on a plethora of roles across brands including Renaissance, Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments in markets such as Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
For the company’s luxury portfolio, Walia will bring his extensive luxury experience to the region in his new role as Area Vice President Luxury Brands, United Arab Emirates. He has worked with Marriott International since 2005 and most recently held the position of Area Vice President Luxury Brandsfor Western Europe, overseeing the company’s luxury portfolio across Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the UK.