US-based Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts have officially merged into one company.

The $13bn acquisition of Starwood was completed on 23 September, said Alex Kyriakidis, Marriott’s Middle East and Africa President at a press conference in Dubai announcing the news.

The merger means Marriott International is now the largest hotel group in the world with 30 brands comprising more than 5,700 hotels, which amounts to 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries.

Kyriakidis said the merger will more than double the company’s presence “in lucrative regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Africa.”

Kyriakidis also said that the group will be looking at the UAE as its biggest opportunity market in the region with the addition of up to 6,000 jobs expected as the company looks to add 30,000 rooms in the region over the next six five years.

The UK’s InterContinental Hotels group acquired boutique chain Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants last year. While France’s Accor Hotels purchased the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel brands this year in what a trend of widespread consolidation across the international hotel industry.