Starwood plans 40 new Mena hotels in 5 years
Dubai, May 7, 2012
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, a leading owner and operator of hotels, will open 40 new hotels in the Mena region over the next five years.
This growth, primarily in the luxury and upper-upscale segments, represents an increase of nearly 60 per cent. In the past 18 months, Starwood has debuted six new hotels throughout Mena and momentum continues in the region where the company has recently inked deals for 10 additional hotels.
“Despite economic and political uncertainty in parts of the region, Starwood continues to see demand for growth of all of our brands across Mena,” said Frits van Paasschen, president and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
“Mena is key to Starwood’s global expansion strategy, representing our second largest growth market after China. When you consider that the region has 35 metropolitan areas with a population of over one million, and many with a wealthy middle class, there’s huge long-term potential for internationally-branded luxury and upper-upscale hotels.”
With the openings of six new hotels under five of the company’s unique and compelling lifestyle brands, Starwood has marked a number of key milestones in MENA over the past 18 months, including the launch of the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi and the St Regis Doha.
Later this year, Starwood will open yet another luxurious St Regis hotel on Abu Dhabi’s vibrant Corniche, making it the only city in the world to boast two St Regis hotels.
Starwood also opened the first Westin hotel in Abu Dhabi with The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, as well as Le Méridien in Algeria with the new Le Méridien Oran, designed by Rockwell Group Europe.
Starwood continues its rapid growth in 2012 with further expansion in key markets, including Saudi Arabia where the company will debut two hotels later this year: the Sheraton Medina and Four Points by Sheraton Medina.
Both hotels combined will add nearly 500 rooms to the Holy City and increase Starwood’s portfolio to 12 hotels in the country.
“Thanks to Starwood’s long history in the region, which dates back to the opening of Sheraton Kuwait Hotel & Towers in 1966, the company is well positioned to take full advantage of growth,” said Roeland Vos, resident of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East.
“Mena continues to evolve as an international business and leisure travel hub. With the number of tourists traveling to the region expected to double from nearly 80 million last year to 195 million by 2030, Mena is one of the most attractive growth markets in the world.”
Starwood recently confirmed 10 hotel projects in the region including four new hotels in Dubai, three hotels on Sheik Zayed Road under the company’s St Regis, W Hotels and Westin brands and a second W Hotel in Dubai on The Palm Jumeirah.
Together, these four properties will add nearly 1,900 rooms to Dubai by 2017.
This further solidifies Starwood’s position as the leading hotel operator in Dubai, where the company currently has 15 hotels under five of its brands, representing the largest concentration of Starwood hotels in a single city outside of New York.
Starwood will open a 270-room Aloft hotel in Sharjah 2015, followed with the opening of a Sheraton and a Four Points by Sheraton hotel.
The comapny will also enter Tajikistan with the opening of a new Sheraton hotel in the country’s capital city of Dushanbe.
Starwood’s 260-room Sheraton Erbil marks Starwood’s return to the country after 20 years and will be complemented by the recently signed 250-room Four Points by Sheraton Erbil which is due to open in 2015.
Starwood will open also open a Four Points by Sheraton in Oran, Algeria in 2014, introducing the brand to the country.
Starwood is inviting its top 100 global executives to Dubai for its annual leadership conference from May 9 to 12.
As part of the conference, Starwood’s most senior global executives will meet with hotel owners, customers and investors and hold strategic planning sessions. This marks the first time the leadership conference takes place in the Middle East. – TradeArabia News Service