Continuing to leverage its first-mover advantage with the Sheraton brand, Starwood will re-enter Iraq after two decades with the milestone opening of Sheraton Dohuk in October. Starwood will also open three hotels in Erbil under its Sheraton, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands by 2017.Hotel Conversions Accelerate Starwood’s Growth Momentum Following last year’s successful conversions of Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates and Four Points by Sheraton Riyadh Khaldia, the company will unveil three new conversions in 2014. Opening in July, The Westin Bahrain City Centre and Le Méridien Bahrain City Centre will mark the debut of both brands in Bahrain. Grand Hills, a Luxury Collection Resort, Broumana will be the first Luxury Collection hotel in Lebanon when it opens in November after an extensive renovation. “Our steady pipeline of new hotels and conversions in the Middle East represents the huge development opportunities this region offers for our nine brands,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development. “We’ve seen a real shift in our portfolio from primarily upper-upscale hotels to a more balanced mix today, with the continued growth of our luxury and mid-market brands. Our growth in this important market demonstrates the trust owners have in our world-class brands and interest to tap into Starwood’s distribution network and globally-recognized loyalty program.” Starwood to Grow Luxury and Mid-Market Portfolios by more than 50% Starwood is seeing rapid growth of its contemporary, design-led W Hotels brand. Following the successful launch of the brand in the region with the opening of W Doha in 2009, Starwood plans to open five more W Hotels across the Middle East, including two in Dubai and one each in Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Amman in the next few years. These, together with upcoming St. Regis and Luxury Collection hotels, will more than double Starwood’s luxury footprint in the region by 2017.
Starwood’s mid-market brands Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft continue to expand across the Middle East where there is a strong demand for reliable and affordable hospitality. The company will more than double its mid-market portfolio in the region with openings including the addition of six new Aloft hotels across Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.Continued Enhancement and Expansion of Upper-Upscale Brands Starwood’s upper-upscale brands – Sheraton, Le Méridien and Westin – represent almost half of the company’s pipeline in the Middle East. The Sheraton brand is leading this growth with seven hotels under development. Upcoming openings include established and emerging destinations such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Renowned for its distinct wellness positioning, Westin will more than triple its presence in the Middle East across the region by 2017. As Starwood continues its extensive expansion across the Middle East, the company is also focused on upgrading a quarter of its existing portfolio of hotels in the region, primarily under the Sheraton and Le Méridien brands. Recently renovated hotels include Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina in Dubai, as well as Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi. Starwood also recently added 200 rooms to Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre. “Together with our partners, we continue to make significant investments to enhance our hotels across the region,” said Michael Wale, President, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “These renovations will ensure that our properties are operating under the latest brand standards, complementing the personalized service and distinctive lifestyle experiences we offer as we maintain our leadership position in the competitive Middle Eastern market.” About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.