US hotelier Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is to open 50 new properties across the Middle East and Africa over the next five years, representing 60 percent growth in its existing regional portfolio.
The operator, which has moved its global headquarters to Dubai for one month, said that the expansion will add 14,000 guest rooms and create thousands of new jobs.
Starwood’s expansion plans include opening 12 new properties in the UAE, of which six are in Dubai; six new hotels in Saudi Arabia by 2015; three launches in the Iraqi Kurdistan city of Irbil; and the launch of the company’s Aloft Hotels brand in both Saudi and Iraq.
The company did not provide figures on how much Starwood was investing in the region, but indicated that some of the new properties would be conversions of existing hotels.
“Starwood continues to see demand for growth of all of our brands across the Middle East and Africa despite economic and political uncertainty in some parts of this incredibly diverse region,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO, Starwood.
“Rapid economic growth, rising personal incomes, a growing middle class and ever greater global connectivity are driving new travel patterns and demand for travel, and this region is at the centre of these trends and a key focus of our growth strategy,” he added.
Later this year, Starwood will open a property under its luxury St Regis Hotels & Resorts brand on Abu Dhabi corniche, with another set to also open in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
W Hotels, Starwood’s design-led brand, will see six new properties, including three in Dubai and one each in Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Amman by 2017.
Earlier this month, Starwood said it would move its management team to Dubai until April 5. During its time based in the emirate, the hotelier said senior executives will seek to meet with associates, customers, owners and prospective developers in the UAE and also take advantage of Dubai's location for business travel to destinations including Mumbai, Addis Ababa, Jeddah, Dushanbe and Kuwait.
Dining with the Tsars: Evgeny Kuzin
Evgeny Kuzin, founder and managing partner of one of Dubai...
Qatar Olympic Committee opens hospitality house in Rio
Bayt Qatar will showcase a fusion of Qatari and Brazilian...
Are you the UAE's unluckiest traveller? It could win you AED30,000
RSA campaign aims to showcase importance of travel insurance...
Review: Aspen Ski Chalet in Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
Where else can you wake up to snow in the desert?
Burj Al Arab launches luxury Terrace beach resort
Membership for iconic hotel's luxury leisure facility will...
Burj Khalifa adds 12 free HD telescopes
High-zoom instruments at Dubai skyscraper are first of their...
Revealed: Aspen Chalets at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates
Chalets include Hermès amenities and faux fireplaces