Starwood targets a century by 2020

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide 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 more than 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Starwood will also open five hotels in 2016 across the three countries.

'We continue to strengthen Starwood’s leadership position in the Middle East through an aggressive growth strategy that will increase our footprint by 75 per cent 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; Four Points by Sheraton Jeddah Tahlia, Saudi Arabia; Four Points by Sheraton Unaizah, Saudi Arabia; and Four Points by Sheraton Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

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 the second quarter.

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

• Re-opening of the Sheraton Oman in the third quarter 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 more than 75 per cent in the next five years with a robust pipeline of more than 40 hotels and 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 per cent 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 per cent of its current portfolio in the Middle East – will account for nearly 50 per cent of the future footprint with seven new projects scheduled to open by 2020.


Marriott reveals Mideast plans

Marriott International has revealed details of the UAE’s first Renaissance Hotel. Set to open at the end of 2016, the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai will be a 298-room luxury hotel aimed at business and leisure travellers who seek both authentic and unexpected experiences. Details of the brand’s UAE debut come as the travel company plans to open an additional four hotels in the country throughout 2016.

Aimed at discovery-oriented business travellers and curious leisure travellers, the Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai will follow the concept ‘Business Unusual’, helping their discerning guests  make the most of their trip, be it leisure or business.

Among the 2016 openings is Abu Dhabi’s first Marriott Hotel, the 315-room five-star Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi as well as the 64-suite Marriott Executive Apartments Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Further strengthening Marriott International’s luxury lifestyle offering, scheduled 2016 openings also include the 86-room La Ville Hotel City Walk Dubai, Autograph Collection, the 68-suite La Ville Apartments City Walk, Dubai and 500-room Lapita Hotel, Autograph Collection, all set to open by the fourth quarter of this year.