By Andy Sambidge
Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Al Habtoor team up to build hotel and equestrian sports complex; due to open in 2017
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide on Monday announced the signing of the first-ever St Regis polo resort to be built in Dubai.
The St Regis Dubai Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club will be built in partnership with UAE-based Al Habtoor Group and is scheduled to open in early 2017.
The 136-room hotel will be the centerpiece of a six-million square foot equestrian sports complex in Dubai, the company said in a statement.
"St Regis has long been associated with the world of polo, and we are excited to lead this milestone project together with Al Habtoor Group, an important partner for Starwood who shares the St Regis brand's passion for 'the sport of kings'," said Michael Wale, president, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East.
"We are also delighted to extend our partnership with the Al Habtoor family, with whom we are working to open our first St Regis hotel in Dubai later this year."
Mohammed Al Habtoor said: "Every guest of the hotel will be able to watch polo from their rooms, suites and the restaurant terraces. This offers something truly unique."
The St Regis Dubai Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club will feature 136 luxury guest rooms, 24 luxury bungalows and various culinary venues.
In addition, there will be a
further 138 residential villas within the resort, alongside a polo club, a
state-of-the-art polo academy and a riding school with 500 stables.
Guests will also have access to the polo academy, which will offer a wide range of programs including dressage, riding, and show jumping for riders of all ages. The resort will be home to four world-class polo fields which will reinforce Dubai's leading position on the global polo circuit.
The resort will be part of Dubailand, a landmark project on Emirates Road which is expected to attract an additional 15 million tourists to Dubai annually once completed.
"The UAE is our largest market in the Middle East, and we continue to see opportunities to grow our brand portfolio across the country," said Bart Carnahan, senior vice president, acquisitions & development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. "This signing will strengthen Starwood's portfolio in Dubai, as we continue to strategically expand our luxury footprint in the region."
Starwood operates nearly 50 hotels and resorts across the Middle East. The company has plans to further expand its portfolio in the region with a pipeline of over 35 hotels due to open by 2017.
Dubai is the company's second largest market after New York City with 15 operating hotels and seven properties in the pipeline.