Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has signed an agreement to manage a Westin-branded hotel in Doha, which will include a manmade beach, a wave pool, rivers and a waterfall, Arabian Business can reveal.
The 372-room Westin Doha Hotel & Spa in Qatar, the hotelier’s third Westin-branded property in the Middle East, will open in 2015 and will join two Westin properties already operating in the UAE, while there are four further hotels planned in the region.
“We are pleased to be growing Starwood’s presence in the Middle East and Qatar specifically as we sign our first Westin property in Doha,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East.
“We see huge potential in Doha, particularly in the thriving Central Business District where the hotel will be situated.”
The hotel site will comprise a total landscaped area of 49,000 square metres, and facilities will include a spa, three swimming pools and a choice of five restaurants and bars, the hotelier said in a statement.
Owner Sheikh Ghanem Bin Ali Al Thani, who also owns the Radisson Blu Doha hotel, said: “We are excited to be developing this hotel with Starwood. We believe there is space in Doha for a hotel like this and the site is ideally located in an area that is undergoing rapid development."
"We are having a beach there in the middle of the city centre,” Gordon MacKenzie, general manager of the Radisson Blu Doha, told Arabian Business of the concept behind the hotel in an interview in Doha in March 2012.
“It will be a water-themed hotel… With water at the front, a river runs all the way through reception [under a] glass floor, all the way out the back, to culminate in a waterfall and a wave pool.
“It will be absolutely magic. It will be a man-made beach… It is going to be fun, it will be challenging and it will be an attraction,” he added.
“The signing of The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa marks the introduction of the Westin brand to Doha and highlights our commitment to expanding our portfolio in the Middle East,” added Bart Carnahan, senior vice president, Acquisitions & Development, Europe, Africa and Middle East Division, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.