By Sara Anabtawi
Property will be located on emirate's beach front and will feature 286 guest rooms
Starwood Hotels and Resorts' Aloft brand is set to debut in Sharjah by early 2015, the company announced.
The property will be the second Aloft-branded hotel in the UAE, following the launch of its first property in Abu Dhabi in 2009.
Located on the beach front on Sharjah's Corniche Road, the property will feature 286 'urban-influenced' guest rooms.
Earlier this week, Starwood - which also owns the luxury St. Regis and W brands - revealed plans to re-enter the Iraqi market, almost 20 years after exiting as a result of the Gulf War.
The hotelier will operate a 250-room Four Points by Sheraton and a Sheraton property with 221 rooms and 39 suites in 2015.
Starwood opened two hotels in Iraq in 1982, in Basra and Baghdad, that were closed following the eruption of the Gulf War in 1990. Erbil is Iraq’s fourth-largest city with a population of around 1.3m. It is also the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is generally perceived as safer region for business.
Starwood will also open a Sheraton in Dubai, one of seven sheikhdoms in the UAE, mid-next year, he said. The property will be located on Sheikh Zayed Road, one of the emirate’s busiest commercial streets, and will have 660 rooms, he added.
The company also plans to open a Sheraton hotel in Saudi Arabia and two in Pakistan. With 50 properties under management in the Middle East, the company intends to start more than 30 hotels in the region over the next few years.
The hospitality company last week posted a more than fourfold increase in first-quarter earnings. Net income rose to US$128m, or 65 cents a share, from US$28m, or 14 cents, a year earlier, the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said.
* Additional reporting by Bloomberg