Marriott International will recruit more than 12,000 staff in the Middle East and Africa over the next five years, the US hotel operator announced. The firm’s president and managing director for MEA, Alex Kyriakides, said that the number of people employed by Marriott International in the region would double from its current 11,800 to more than 24,000 by the end of 2017. Speaking at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2012 in Dubai, Kyriakides added that 4,400 new employees would be in the UAE. “We have 38 existing properties in 11 countries across seven lodging brands and a further 43 hotels under development which will more than double the number of hotels in the Middle East and Africa over the next five years,” he said. On Saturday, the company announced that it would be opening a new property in Kuwait City under Marriott’s Residence Inn brand, which targets longer-stay travellers. Marriott has at present 18 of its brands represented in the Middle East, including JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance Hotels.