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Marriott Inks Deal for First Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Middle East

Victoria M. Walker's image
Victoria M. Walker
Victoria M. Walker's image

Victoria M. Walker

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 26U.S. States Visited: 27

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Travel With Vikkie” newsl...

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Marriott announced on May 23, 2022, that it had signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company for the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in the Middle East.

Here’s what you should know about this exciting development.

The Middle East’s First Ritz-Carlton Reserve Will Be in Saudi Arabia

Screen Shot 2022 05 23 at 6.19.47 PM
Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will be located off the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Marriott

Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property, is expected to debut in 2023 and will be located on a set of private islands on Saudi Arabia’s west coast. The hotel will feature 63 overwater and beach villas, ranging in size from 1 to 4 bedrooms. There will also be 18 Ritz-Carlton Reserve-branded residences.

“We are thrilled to bring our most luxurious brand, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and its exemplary experience to the Middle East. Perfectly situated on one of the most anticipated regenerative tourism projects in the world, the resort will blend seclusion and sophistication to provide a highly personalized luxury escape,” said Jerome Briet, the Chief Development Officer of Europe, Middle East & Africa at Marriott International, in a statement.

It’s unclear — at least right now — how many Marriott Bonvoy points will be required for an award night at Nujuma. Cash rates are similarly unknown at this point, but we’ll be sure to update this story as we receive more information. However, judging from the existing Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties, we’d expect cash and award rates to be on the high end.

Hot Tip: Already eyeing a stay at the Nujuma? Make sure you read our guide on earning lots of Marriott Bonvoy points so you can start saving!

Saudi Arabia in the Spotlight

Marriott alone already has 3 dozen properties across Saudi Arabia, ranging from modest Aloft and Courtyard Marriott hotels to 2 Ritz-Carltons in the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh.

The Nujuma announcement comes just days after another major hotel chain, Hyatt, announced a deal with the Red Sea Development Company for a similarly high-end property — Miraval the Red Sea — also in Saudi Arabia. That property will include 180 rooms — including 20 villas — spread across 3 million square feet of land, along with several dining options.

Saudi Arabia also represents a first for Hyatt — Miraval The Red Sea will be the first Miraval property outside the United States. Development for the resort is “well underway” and is on track to be completed by the end of next year, according to the chain.

Final Thoughts

Marriott has announced plans for a high-end hotel in the Red Sea, just a few days after Hyatt did the same. This is certainly an indication that major hotel chains have identified the region as one that can support their top-tier brands.

Fans of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand should be very excited about its newest property — it will surely impress with its overwater villas, an indulgent spa, multiple swimming pools, several restaurants, and more.

We’re looking forward to checking out this property soon after it opens!

Victoria M. Walker's image

About Victoria M. Walker

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Travel With Vikkie” newsletter.

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