Wednesday 27, April 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: From the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced that it is on track to grow its portfolio in the Middle East to 100 hotels by 2020. This follows five new deal signings that will add over 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Starwood will also open five hotels in 2016 across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“The Middle East continues to be one of Starwood’s fastest growing markets and we are immensely committed to the trust that owners have in our world-class brands,” said Michael Wale, President of Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Our long-established presence in the region, and the value we deliver, has set us ahead to further expand our footprint and strengthen our guest loyalty.”

“We continue to strengthen Starwood’s leadership position in the Middle East through an aggressive growth strategy that will increase our footprint by 75% in the next five years,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Our flexible development approach, differentiated brands, loyal customer base and proven ability to drive asset value has made Starwood the ideal partner for developers in the region.”

Starwood’s newest hotel signings in the region include:

A Luxury Collection Hotel and Le Méridien in Lusail, Qatar
These signings come on the heels of Starwood’s Europe, Africa and Middle East leadership conference in March in Doha, where the company operates some of the capital’s most iconic hotels. Starwood will double its current portfolio in Qatar and diversify its brand presence when these two hotels open in Lusail by the end of 2018.

Owned by United Developers Company LLC., the two hotels will add 650 rooms in Qatar’s city of the future that will host the World Cup 2022’s opening and closing ceremonies. Part of a Parisian inspired mixed-use development, Place Vendôme, the hotels will be directly connected to a shopping center featuring more than 400 different fashion and food and beverage outlets. The Luxury Collection hotel will mark the entry of the brand into Qatar, offering global explorers a unique gateway to this visionary destination. The Le Méridien hotel will be the second property from the Parisian-born brand in Qatar and will feature signature features such as Le Méridien Hub, an innovative reinterpretation of the traditional hotel lobby.

Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah Tahlia, Saudi Arabia
Scheduled to open in 2020, the Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah will be the first Four Points to open in the city. The hotel will feature 180 rooms and will be ideally located close to Tahlia Street, Jeddah’s upscale shopping district. The hotel will appeal to leisure and business travellers with over 3,000 square feet of meeting space and fitness facilities, including an outdoor pool.

Four Points by Sheraton Unaizah, Saudi Arabia
Starwood will make its entry into Unaizah in Saudi Arabia with the signing of Four Points by Sheraton Unaizah. Signed with Unaizah Investment Company, the hotel will open in 2020 and feature an urban-resort feel attracting leisure and business travellers with its 130 rooms including chalets and villas, health and recreation facilities with multiple swimming pools, a spa and nearly 9,000 square feet of meeting space.

Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Starwood continues to expand its footprint in the UAE with its first hotel in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Signed with Hamarain Real Estate LLC, Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah will offer 300 rooms and serviced apartments and four food and beverage outlets when it opens in 2019. The signing underlines Ras Al Khaimah’s plan to enhance the destination and diversify its hotel portfolio.

All three Four Points by Sheraton properties will reflect the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travellers, the hotel will offer all of the brand’s defining touches, including the signature Four Comfort bed and complimentary bottled water, free Wi-Fi in all public areas, an energising breakfast, the brand’s signature Best Brews™ programme as well as food and beverage outlets.

“The new deal signings represent the immense development opportunities this region continues to offer for our 10 distinct lifestyle brands in established and fast-growing markets,” said Neil George, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Africa & Middle East. “In particular, our mid-markets brands continue to capitalise on the strong demand for affordable hospitality in the region and we also continue to see steady growth across our luxury and upper-upscale brands, allowing us to strengthen and diversify our brand portfolio in the Middle East.”

2016 Opening Highlights:
Starwood will expand its regional footprint to nearly 60 properties and over 17,000 rooms this year with five openings in the Middle East. Following the recent debut of The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, the brand’s entry to Qatar, Starwood will open:

W Dubai Al Habtoor City and The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City which, together with The St. Regis Dubai which opened last November, form Starwood’s largest hospitality project in the Middle East. This double debut will mark the entry of the W Hotels brand into the UAE and the launch of the largest Westin hotel in the Middle East with over 1,000 rooms. Both hotels are scheduled to open in Q2.

Launch of the Aloft brand in Saudi Arabia with the openings of Aloft Riyadh and Aloft Dhahran in Q3. Together the hotels will add over 500 rooms in The Kingdom.

Re-opening of the Sheraton Oman in Q3 following extensive renovations of its rooms and public spaces, refreshed food and beverage outlets and extension of one of the largest ballrooms in the country.

Starwood will grow its footprint by over 75 percent in the next five years with a robust pipeline of more than 40 hotels and over 12,000 rooms across its luxury, upper-upscale and mid-market brands.

Starwood’s mid-market brands – Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element – continue to fuel growth for the company in the Middle East, illustrating the strong demand for reliable and affordable hospitality in the region. Together, the three brands represent more than 50 percent of the company’s growth pipeline in the region.

Starwood also continues to see strong growth opportunities for its luxury brands and will double its luxury hotels portfolio in the Middle East with ten new openings across the St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands. The company’s upper-upscale brands – Sheraton, Le Méridien and Westin – which currently make up 70 percent of its current portfolio in the Middle East – will account for nearly 50 percent of the future footprint with seven new projects scheduled to open by 2020.