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Sat 20 Aug 2016 12:05 AM

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Starwood signs deal for new Sheraton in Saudi holy city

Hotel giant announces further expansion in Gulf kingdom with plan to open new property in Makkah

Starwood signs deal for new Sheraton in Saudi holy city
An aerial view shows the Grand mosque and the Kaaba in in Saudi Arabias holy Muslim city of Makkah. (AFP/Getty Images)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced its further expansion in Saudi Arabia with the signing of a new Sheraton in the holy city of Makkah.

Owned by Altayyar Travel Group Holding Company, Sheraton Makkah Jabal Al Kaaba is scheduled to open by the end of the year, a statement said. 

The hotel is located close to the new expansion of the mosque and will provide guests with special access and views of the holy Haram, it added. 

"Makkah has been a particular focus for Starwood growth, with Sheraton being one of three brands to make its entrance into the market in the next year," said Michael Wale, president, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Europe, Africa and Middle East. 

"The property will offer pilgrims the Sheraton brand's renowned world-class service and a comfortable hospitality experience in the holy city."

Sheraton Makkah Jabal Al Kaaba will feature 414 rooms and branded service apartments, and will also offer four dining experiences, as well as ample meeting and events space.

"Saudi Arabia remains one of our strongest growth markets in the region and we are on track to more than double our presence in the country in the next three years," Neil George, senior vice president, Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Africa and Middle East.

"With the growth of religious travel into Saudi Arabia, there continues to be a strong demand for hotels within the holy city and Starwood is in an enviable position with a pipeline of more than 3,000 new rooms in addition to 1,200 existing rooms in this market."

Abdullah Aldawood, CEO of Altayyar Travel Group added: "We believe the location of this hotel together with a strong brand name like Sheraton makes for a winning combination for our first branded hotel in the holy city. We are confident in Starwood's ability to provide the finest of its globally recognized services under the Sheraton brand to pilgrims."

Starwood operates more than 50 hotels and resorts across the Middle East under eight of the company's brands. The company said it is on track to operate 100 hotels in the region by 2020.

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