Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has signed an agreement with Jabal Omar Development Company to open three new hotels in the Holy City of Makkah. As part of the Jabal Omar Development project, Starwood will add 1,496 rooms to the city under the company’s Sheraton®, Westin® and Four Points® by Sheraton brands when the hotels open in 2015. Starwood currently operates 10 properties in Saudi Arabia, the second largest market for the company in the Middle East behind the UAE.
“We are delighted to work with Jabal Omar Development Company as we introduce the Sheraton, Westin and Four Points by Sheraton brands to the holy city of Makkah,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “As business travel and religious tourism continue to expand in Saudi Arabia, we believe the time is right to expand our portfolio in the country.”
H.E. Abdul Rahman Abdul Qadir Fakieh, chairman of the board for Jabal Omar Development Company commented, “We are excited to partner with Starwood to bring three of their world-class brands to Makkah. We believe the addition of these hotels is in line with the goal of the Jabal Omar Development to improve and urbanize the central area surrounding Al Haram and provide much needed facilities and accommodations for pilgrims.”
Al Haram, the Jabal Omar Development, is a 230,000 square meter mixed-use development in Makkah comprised of 38 high-rise buildings. With 26 hotels and over 11,000 rooms, the complex is one of the largest hotel developments in the world.Sheraton Makkah Hotel With a long history in the Middle East, spanning more than 50 years, the Sheraton brand continues to be one of the most sought-after hotel brands in the region. Offering a warm and lively ambience, the Sheraton Makkah Hotel will boast 532 guest rooms and suites featuring the all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® Bed. The hotel will also feature five food and beverage venues, including two large buffet restaurants to suit the schedules of guests.