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Starwood takes off in the Middle East

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will double its portfolio of hotels in the Middle East by 2020. Its midscale brands will open primarily near airports, whereas upscale properties will open up to new, especially in Iraq.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will expand massively in the Middle East, where it plans to double its hotel portfolio by 2020. The group currently operates 53 properties and 26 others are already in its pipeline and should open their doors by 2019.

The midscale finally finds its place in the Emirates

Reaffirming its desire to develop its midscale hotel portfolio, Starwood Hotels & Resorts signed contracts to development Aloft Hotels and Element hotels through management contracts. The group wants to occupy the area around Dubai's international airport, where some 400 rooms are scheduled in two future hotels: Aloft Dubai Airport and Element Dubai Airport. The walls of properties are owned by a subsidiary of Wasl Asset Management Group. Aloft Hotels will also operate a 150-room property near the city's second airport, Al Maktoum. In the sultanate of Oman, the 204-room Aloft Muscat will open near the airport in 2018. The brand Aloft Hotels will also be developed in the center of Doha (Qatar) with 240 rooms, not far from the Museum Islamic Art.

"Our growth in the region is the result of the efforts made to create added value for our owners through out brands, thanks to our faithful clients and also thanks to our global platform," declared Michael Wale, President for Starwood, Europe, Africa and Middle East, who signed seven midscale hotels in the area in the first five months of 2015.

Upscale and luxury develop on new markets

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is seeking new opportunities to develop its upscale and luxury brands, which it is establishing on new markets. Thus it will open the Sheraton Dohuk, in Iraq, twenty years after it left the country. the group will also continue to develop in Jordan where the W Amman and St. Regis Amman are expected next year. They will mark the launch of two brands in the country. In Saudi Arabia, Le Méridien Riyadh will open in September 2016. In Lebanon, a Broumana resort will join the The Luxury Collection next July 31.

In Dubai, the brands St. Regis and W Hotels will make their debuts this year with openings scheduled in October and November. Starwood Hotels & Resorts also targets new cities in the United Arab Emirates. It will open in Al Ain in September 2016 with an Aloft hotel and in Sharjah with three hotels including the Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort in 2015.

On January 1, 2015, Starwood Hotels & Resorts was the 7th group worldwide in terms of number of rooms with 346,599 units at 1,207 properties according to MKG Hospitality, consulting firm founded by Georges Panayotis. (Read our article).

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