We’re a few days away from the Marriott Bonvoy launch on 13th February 2019. (Read: 5 things that are changing with Marriott Bonvoy)

Marriott just announced their annual category changes for 2019, which will take effect from 5th March 2019. Marriott also announced that the new Category 8 pricing at 85,000 points / night will also launch on that date. The off-peak and peak pricing will not take effect until later in 2019. Here’s a look at Marriott’s free night award chart.

marriott bonvoy free night award chart guide
Marriott Free Night Award Chart

You can find the full list of Marriott’s 2019 category changes here.

Out of the total 380 hotels that are changing points categories, 40 will be going down a category and 340 will be going up a category. An additional ~60 properties will also be adjusting to its new Category 8 (from Category 7*).

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there are 9 Marriott hotels that are changing points categories. (See the full list of 50+ Marriott hotels redeemable on points in UAE). In the Middle East, only The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is going up from a Category 5 to Category 6. In India, most hotels are going up one category (mainly the Courtyards).

List of 9 UAE Marriott Hotels changing categories on 5th March 2019

The 9 hotels in UAE are spread across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. (2 of these hotels are also featured in our 4 Best Value Marriott Hotels to redeem on points in UAE)


  • Aloft Palm Jumeirah – Cat 5 to 4 (down)
  • Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection – Cat 5 to 6 (up)
  • Four Points by Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road – Cat 5 to 4 (down)
  • Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina – Cat 6 to 5 (down)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai – Cat 7 to 8 (up)
  • Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers – Cat 5 to 4 (down)
  • Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa – Cat 7* to Cat 8
al maha resort dubai uae marriott bonvoy review
Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Resort

Abu Dhabi

  • Aloft Abu Dhabi – Cat 3 to 2 (down)

Ras Al Khaimah

  • The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach – Cat 7 to 8 (up)


Most of these annual category changes seem positive since 5 of them are going down. The Aloft Abu Dhabi will make a good redemption being a Category 2 hotel in Abu Dhabi. The disappointing one is the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah at Al Hamra Beach which is moving up to the elite category 8.

If you have any plan at all for visiting Al Maha or The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah on Points, make sure you make bookings for them before 5th March 2019. (keep in mind the free cancellation dates though)

What do you think of the annual category changes for Marriott?

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